Red Cross encourages more donors by telling survivors story

Lexington, SC (WACH)--Dodge Frederick has been donating blood and platelets for much of his adult life.

On Wednesday, the 69 year old came to Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church in Lexington; where the Red Cross held their Day After Christmas Blood Drive.

"After reading the paper, I saw that there was a blood drive right here at Saxe Gotha. I did not have to go to downtown. So I decided the time was as good as any. It is something I like to do; give back a little bit."

Red Cross Lexington Donor Recruiter Denise Elkins said the end of the year typically brings in one of the lowest numbers of donors. This year she hopes to encourage residents by telling the story of Seth Ewing; a cancer survivor from Lexington.

"He had a rare form of childhood leukemia at the age of four," Elkins said. "And he is now a healthy little eight year old."

Elkins said patients like Seth often use between 30-40 units of blood a month. The organization was able to get 20 units Wednesday. Elkins hopes it will help save more lives like Seth.

"During his struggles in the last three years, he actually used over 120 units of blood and platelet products," Elkins said.

According to Elkins, the need for blood never takes a holiday.

"We need blood 365 days a year," Elkins said. "Just because we are busy with the holidays and family does not mean that cancer patients or sick people or surgeries go away. So it means a lot to look beyond your reasons not to give."

Frederick said hearing survivor stories like Seth's inspires him to do more.

"It makes it even more special to know that there is a need for somebody," Frederick said. "Over the years, all of the blood I have given has been used for some good purpose."

A purpose he said that takes just a few minutes, yet can save so many lives.

There were also blood drives at Garners Ferry and Dutch Square. The three drives totaled about 50 units of blood.

If you would like to learn more or donate, visit here.