All three metro blood centers are crossing their fingers this week that a huge blood drive in Ames will replenish a supply of blood that's hit a dangerous low.
Let`s cut right to the gory chase here - we`re talking about blood. We`ve all got it, but only about 38% of us can give it, and only 3% actually will.
So a guy like Joe Stokes is important.
“This will be my 12th one,” says the Iowa State junior.
He`s a part of a huge drive this week at Iowa State, where three blood centers will replenish their stock which supplies nearly every hospital in Iowa.
"In order to build up our blood supply for the cold and flu season," says Life Serve's Beth Phillips, "we need to see a high donor turnout."
All donors are celebrated, but none are more welcome than Michelle Keane.
Michelle has type O-negative blood, something only seven percent of us have.
"I see the importance in me having to donate," she says.
In the world of blood, O-negative is gold. “Everybody can use O-negative blood, it is the universal donor," says Josie Simmons of Mississippi Valley Blood Centers.
"If you`re in a car accident," Phllips adds, "For any type of trauma situation, O-negative is the blood type that hospitals need."
And since O-negative people like Michelle can only receive O-negative blood, the unit she donates today is critical.
At the moment, there are only 35 units of O-negative blood in all of central Iowa.
"Right now we are at less than one day`s supply," Phillips cautions, "and that`s an extremely urgent need. We tend to like to be at a 3-4 day supply for our blood management."
If the drive yields 800 pints of blood, it`ll be a success. If 147 pints are O-negative, it`s a guaranteed life-saver--probably many times over.
"It makes me feel like I`m helping out a random stranger," says Stokes.
“I may never be repaid," Keane says, "because I may never need it, but it`s awesome to know that I could be helping someone out for the heck of it."
What made some a bit queasy today will ultimately make someone well in the near future.