Blood donors needed in the Med City: 'I call it the gift of life'

Mayo Clinic’s Blood Donor Program posted a plea on their Facebook page saying “We need your help! Our patient need blood type O-negative.”

Posted: Jul 17, 2019 6:48 PM

ROCHESTER, Minn. – During the summer the need for blood increases, and that means there’s a need for people to donate.

On Wednesday, Mayo Clinic’s Blood Donor Program posted a plea on their Facebook page saying “We need your help! Our patient need blood type O-negative.”

For Duane Jones, giving blood is his way of giving back.

“It's pretty simple, it's painless, it's something I can do,” Jones said. “It kind of really is, I'm giving somebody life. I really feel that way.”

He’s one of 13,000 in the donor pool, and that makes a difference as Mayo Clinic uses 50,000 units of blood every year.

“Everybody should give blood,” Jones said.

Those at the Blood Donor Clinic think so too.

“We need all blood types, at all times,” Kim Schmidt, a recruiter at the blood donor program, said. “”And so if you aren't an O-neg and still are interested in donating, obviously we would love to have you come in at any time and donate blood.”

They’re always looking for new donors, who may even just be at Mayo for others getting treatment.

“The family member often times is looking for a way to say thank you to Mayo Clinic,” Schmidt said. “And this is the best way by providing blood so that others can continue their lives and to heal.”

Repeat donors like Jones are key in how Mayo Clinic treats patients and save lives.

“My wife has had quite a number of surgeries at Mayo,” Jones said. “This is my way to sort of give back I guess. I call it the gift of life.”

As the donor population gets older, the blood donor program has a new target audience of 20 to 35-year-olds.

The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program is located in the Hilton Building.

It’s open from 6:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. It’s open later until 7:00 p.m. every second Thursday of the month.

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