Give the Gift of Life

Supervisor Greg Cox does it every time he can. You should, too.

Donate blood that is.

“Over the years, I have donated more than 16 gallons of blood to help people in need in our community,” Supervisor Cox said. “I would like to encourage you, my fellow County employees, to participate with me in this year’s drive.”

The month-long County Blood Drive kicks off April 6 and supports the Live Well San Diego vision of healthy, safe and thriving residents and communities. All employees are encouraged to donate blood and, if they qualify, to register to be a bone marrow donor at Be The Match.

Donating blood and bone marrow is safe, costs nothing and could save a life. Bloodmobiles will be at 20 sites across the county throughout April. You can make an appointment, or just walk in.

Last year, 455 County employees donated more than 411 pints of blood; 73 were first-time donors. Together, they helped countless people in need of a transfusion.

The San Diego Blood Bank must collect 400 pints of blood every day. Although 80 percent of us will receive a blood transfusion during our lives, only 5 percent of the U.S. population donates blood.

If you can donate blood, do it. If you can’t, try to get a family member or friend to take your place. All blood types are needed.

Be the perfect match

In August of 2013, Supervisors Bill Horn and Cox launched the County’s campaign to also get employees to register to be bone marrow donors.

Since the campaign began, dozens of County employees have registered at Be The Match, including 18 who joined last year. Many more are expected to join during this year’s month-long push.

Registering for Be the Match is easy and pain free. All you have to do is swab the inside of your cheek and you can do it at one of the 20 blood donation sites.

Be The Match is especially looking for donors in the 18-44 age group because doctors request them over 90 percent of the time. This is because medical research has shown that cells from younger donors lead to better long-term survival for patients after a transplant. Registration is completely free.

People between the ages of 45 and 60 can also join the Be The Match Registry®, but will be required to make a $100 payment at the end of the online process.

Be The Match is also looking for members of diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds because patients are most likely to match someone who shares their ancestry.