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Give the gift of life

April 7, 2012
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The Easter holiday marks the end of "season" in Southwest Florida.

And with the end of season comes a lot of things - great dinner specials at area restaurants, less traffic on the roads and, unfortunately, fewer donors at local blood banks.

Already, Florida Blood Centers has twice issued a critical appeal for O negative blood.

And both the center and the blood banks associated with the Lee Memorial Health System are always in need of additional units of all blood types.

Blood is needed for numerous medical procedures, not only for car crash victims, but for surgeries and various treatments. Fewer donors mean less available stock and, sometimes, communitywide appeals for certain blood types.

Almost anyone can donate blood and most medications do not preclude one from baring an arm. Blood donors just have to weigh at least 115 pounds; be 17 years old or older (16 with parental consent) and have a photo ID if new to the donor process.

The procedure is fairly quick, relatively painless - and it save lives.

"Just one donation can save three lives because it's separated into components - red blood cells, plasma and platelets," Florida Blood Centers said in its request this week.

If you can spare a few minutes this spring or summer, we urge you to take part.

Here in the Cape, blood donations can be made at Cape Coral Hospital, 636 Del Prado Blvd., Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. and Tuesdays 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.

All donations stay right here in Lee County

Call 239-424-2400 for more information.

Meanwhile, Florida's Blood Centers and McDonald's Corporation have teamed up to hold a blood drive next week to boost supplies.

Their drive will be held April 9-April 14, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, and those taking part will receive a movie ticket and a McDonald's food coupon.

Locations will be:

* Monday, April 9

McDonald's 1222 Cape Coral Pkwy., Cape Coral,

McDonald's Gulf Coast Town Center, 17800 Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy., Estero

* Tuesday, April 10

McDonald's 1604 Cape Coral Pkwy. W., Cape Coral

McDonald's 1530 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers

* Wednesday, April 11

McDonald's Merchant's Crossing, 3601 N.E. Pine Island Road, North Fort Myers

McDonald's Grand Oaks Shoppes, 20310 Grand Oaks Shoppes, Estero

* Thursday, April 12

McDonald's 13741 N Cleveland Ave., North Fort Myers

McDonald's 12290 S. Cleveland Ave., Fort Myers

* Friday, April 13

McDonald's 1530 Colonial Blvd., Fort Myers

McDonald's 1222 Cape Coral Pkwy., Cape Coral

* Saturday, April 14

McDonald's Merchant's Crossing, 3601 N.E. Pine Island Road, North Fort Myers

McDonald's Gulf Coast Town Center,17800 Ben Hill Griffin Pkwy., Estero.

- Breeze editorial



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