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80-year old encourages others to become blood donors

New donors are needed to keep Minnesota's blood supply healthy. There is no substitute.

MINNEAPOLIS — At age 82, Mary Carlson, of Prior Lake, still gives blood. She started donating in her twenties.

"I personally [had] post-partum hemorrhaging, and I know how much blood was needed," Carlson said. "That was the beginning of my adult life, and after that, I thought, [there are] all these people that give, but there's not enough of them."

It's why Carlson wants to help spread the word about just how easy it is donate blood. Tuesday, at the Memorial Blood Centers Eden Prairie location, she gave for the 77th time.

"I just make the time," she said.

However, even if you're not a longtime donor like Carlson, this week is a good one to donate. KARE 11 is hosting the Health Fair 11 Summer Blood Drive Thursday.

"We really need to identify new donors, and a blood drive is a great way for us to do that," Phil Losacker, of Memorial Blood Centers, said.

There was a new location for the Health Fair 11 Summer Blood Drive. The event took place on Thursday, July 20th in one of the newest buildings in the bustling West End complex in St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

UPDATE: A total of 155 units were collected from 145 people who showed up to donate at the Health Fair 11 Summer Blood Drive. (Many did a 'double-red' donation --- which counts as two units.)

Memorial Blood Centers and the American Red Cross are the major blood collection organizations in Minnesota. Both hold numerous blood drives each week. Find a drive near you at Memorial Blood Centers and/or American Red Cross.

KARE11/Health Fair 11 blood drives are coordinated by Health Fair 11, a nonprofit organization that operates with media support from KARE 11. If your organization would like to be involved in Health Fair 11 projects, email healthfair@kare11.com for information.


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