Connecticut Epilepsy Advocate, Red Cross hold ‘Mega Blood Drive’

Connecticut

MILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — There’s a summer blood drive in Milford Friday and this is the time of year when your help is really needed.

Lots of people go on vacation but the need for blood does not. If anything, the need for blood goes up this time of year, but the number of people donating blood usually goes down.

Today’s event is being called a “Mega Drive” because of the number of people they are trying to get in the door of St. Agnes Church. The driving force behind it is Bob Fiore. He runs the charity The Connecticut Epilepsy Advocate.

“For decades, people with epilepsy could not donate the gift of life,” Fiore said. “When I found out about 10 years ago that I could, I’m like, ‘Why don’t you start your own blood drive?’ People need it. So that was the incentive.”

This is the third year Fiore and the American Red Cross of Connecticut have put on this mega drive. Their goal: 175 people.

“I think it’s the right thing to do, and it’s not a big deal,” said Stratford resident Dave DeRosa as he donated blood. “There’s no excuses when it comes to helping people.”

He was actually hooked up to a “Power Red” machine. It extracts red blood cells only, which allows them to take the equivalent of two pints of blood. Only certain blood types qualify for that, but just about anybody who weighs more than 110 pounds can donate blood the regular way. The trouble is, summer vacation both reduces the supply and increases the need.

“The fact that there’s people on holiday, there’s accidents, sadly, things like that,” Fiore said. “There’s never a time when they say, ‘Sorry, we have too much blood.’ That doesn’t happen.”

The Mega Drive goes from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at St. Agnes Church on Merwin Ave. in the Woodmont section of Milford.

You can donate whole blood every 56 days. For more information about blood drives in your area, click here.

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