• Great big party that saves lives
    November 06,2013
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    It is hard to believe that we are planning for the 11th Gift of Life Marathon — on Tuesday, Dec. 17.

    It seems like the blink of an eye since Steve Costello approached us at WJJR to help open up the blood drive to the wider community. I don’t think any of us could have foreseen how much it has grown, and how it has become such a source of pride for people in this region.

    I am absolutely certain none of us imagined we would need five locations to accommodate everyone who wants to help set a national record of 1,969 pints collected in one day.

    From my perspective while behind the microphone at the Paramount Theatre, it has been thrilling and inspiring to witness the energy of the many Red Cross personnel involved, and the quiet dedication to the cause shown by volunteers and donors alike.

    We hear stories from people about how strangers’ donations of blood saved their child’s life — or their own. We talk to people who have rare diseases that require them to receive regular transfusions throughout the year.

    We have a listener who insists that had we not persuaded him to try to donate one year, his own health issues would not have been discovered and he likely would have died. He was not eligible to donate that day — but once he got the treatment, he needed, he vowed to become a regular donor. Now he faithfully shows up to give others his most precious gift, considering it a privilege to be here to do so.

    I have said for years on the air that the Gift of Life Marathon is a great big party — one at which lives just happen to be saved. It is a marvelous day, full of good will, good food — and even a great big bag full of lovely parting gifts. You won’t attend a better party this holiday season.

    I’ve made my appointment. You can make yours by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. See you Dec. 17.



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