Karen of Gansevoort, Saratoga County, has been a regular blood donor for several decades.

“Several years prior to my first donation, my father had received 36 pints of blood over a six-month period.  I felt it was important to start giving back, to show appreciation for the generosity that saved his life.

“My dad had a massive stroke when I was 10-years old. Ten years later he experienced more health issues and needed many transfusions to recover. He went on to live another 10 years. Throughout his 20-year disability, I spent almost every day with him. Even though he was very physically limited, he was the smartest man I’ve ever known. He’s been gone over 30 years, yet the lessons he taught me still guide my everyday life.

“Donating blood is a fairly easy, relaxing process. For many of us, it’s a simple task that could most certainly save someone else’s life.”

While the leaves turn, the need for blood never changes. Those who give this fall play an important role in keeping the blood supply high enough to help patients counting on blood products for care– especially ahead of the busy holiday season.

Schedule a time to give blood or platelets by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).