It’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves

In a page 1 article last week, Gazette Writer Dan Roblee reported on the shortage of blood and blood donors experienced by the Upper Peninsula Regional Blood Center. We’ve all seen and heard the commercials. We know the facts … blood saves lives. Yet, again and again we hear about dangerously low supplies, espcially among certain blood typles.

While the severe winter weather has caused numerous problems, frozen pipes, high heating bills, snow removoal issues, among them, perhaps the most significant problem caused by the hard winter is its impact on blood donations.

The Mining Journal in Marquette reported cold and ice this winter have caused blood drive cancellations and contributed to the fact fewer people are walking in off the street to give blood.

In the DMG article last week, Rita Berger, lead donor technician at the U.P. Regional Blood Center’s Hancock office, said. “There’s no artificial substitute for red blood cells or blood products. People can die if they’re not given blood.”

The problem is that simple … and that severe. Roblee’s article featured a remarkable woman named Bennie Kauppi who has been a regular donor for more than two decades and is currenly working toward her 12th gallon of blood donated.

While we salute heroes like Bennie and all those “regulars” who make donating blood a priority, it’s obvious there are not enough of them to fill the need.

New donors are needed, and needed immediately. With regular blood drives, via the “Blood Mobile” and the facility in Hancock there really is no excuse.

Residents of the Copper Country are known for their generosity and altruism. We give our money, our talents and our time to worthwhile causes.

Now it’s time to give the gift of life.