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Thank You: National Volunteer Blood Donor Month thanks

January 29, 2002

January is National Volunteer Blood Donor Month. In a letter to the American Association of Blood Banks and America's Blood Centers, President Bush wrote, "I commend those who already give the gift of life through blood donation and urge other citizens who are in good health to also donate blood regularly. This caring and generous act saves lives, helps ensure the well-being of people of all ages and provides individuals with a unique opportunity to make a lasting difference in their communities and our society."

I would like to echo the president's sentiments and extend my heartfelt thanks to the thousands of Imperial Valley residents who so generously give blood. There is no substitute for human blood. It is because of this dedicated group of people, who take the time out of their busy schedules to give blood, that our hospitals and all Imperial Valley residents can be assured that blood will be there when patients in our community need it. We are extremely lucky to have these people living here in the Imperial Valley.

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I would like to single out those donors who truly understand the need for blood on an ongoing basis and have gone above and beyond the call of duty to do their part. They are the current donors who have given 10 gallons or more of blood. To reach 1 gallon, a person must donate eight times, meaning a 10 gallon donor is someone who has donated 80 times.

Donors who have given 10 to 12 gallons include Neil Bock, Joe Casillas, Steve Deppe, Bobby DeVoy, Daniel Edwards, Jim Flowers, Karen Gallaher, Sandy Harris, Robert Holt, John Myers, Henry Nilson, Danny Seeger, Jim Storms, Ron Summers, Dorothy Tubach, Mike Villanueva and Larry Zediker.

Twelve- to 14-gallon donors are Gary Canova, Jim Carter, John Conner, Pete LaChat, Ray Ormand, Randy Rister, Ward Simmons, Jim Sullenger, Don Twogood, Sal Vallejo, John Wagoner and Wayne Wah.

Our 15- to 18-gallon members are John Kennerson Sr. and Jim Lamphere.

Last, but certainly not least is our top donor, Eric Rice who has given over 26 gallosn of blood during his lifetime.

It is because of this group of people and to everyone who donates that I have found this job so remarkably rewarding for the past 15 years. Again, from all of us at Imperial Valley Blood Services and the patients we serve, thank you for your selflessness and spirit of giving back to the community.

TRISH BURICH-McNeece

Coordinator

Imperial Valley Blood Services

(13 gallons)

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