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Resolve to become a lifesaver this year

 

Celebrate National Blood Donor month by becoming a regular blood donor

“This picture shows my sons Ben, Sam, and Jesse from left to right.  Ben and Jesse both needed blood as kids. Even though I was a fairly regular donor, they are both alive, in part, because of blood donations.  That makes giving blood on a regular basis now a no-brainer to me.”—Gregg Franjione, longtime blood donor.

“This picture shows my sons Ben, Sam, and Jesse from left to right.  Ben and Jesse both needed blood as kids. Even though I was a fairly regular donor, they are both alive, in part, because of blood donations.  That makes giving blood on a regular basis now a no-brainer to me.”—Gregg Franjione, longtime blood donor.

From Michigan Blood

Back in 1986 when he first became a blood donor, Gregg Franjione didn’t realize how much impact blood donation would have on his life. Gregg just knew that giving blood was “an easy way to help out others,” but admits he “never thought about the recipients much.”

Gregg and his wife Laurene had three sons over the course of eight years. It was at the birth of their youngest son, Benjamin, they received the frightening diagnosis that baby Ben had Tetralogy of Fallot—a combination of four congenital heart defects. Newborn Ben needed open heart surgery in order to survive, and the multiple blood transfusions Ben received were a key part of his surgery and recovery.

As if one health scare in the family wasn’t enough, the words, “Hodgkin’s Lymphoma” took the family down another frightening path in 2004 with middle son Jesse’s diagnosis. With the loving support of his community, Jesse and his family geared-up for many chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Jesse also needed multiple blood transfusions to keep his blood counts at a safe level, which helped bring him into remission.

Gregg has donated more than 11 gallons of blood over the course of his life, and yet he openly says that there is no amount he could ever donate that would offset what he and his family received through generous donations of both time and blood.

“Today, my wife and I would be the parents of only one child—not three—if it wasn’t for the gift of blood donations from others,” says Gregg.

The Franjione Family has experienced a lot, and now wants to help others. They pay it forward as often as they can. Blood donation is something they advocate for, even if some are medically unable to donate on their own.

January is National Blood Donor Month, and Michigan Blood thanks the Franjione family for their dedication to the mission of saving lives through blood donations. Michigan Blood joins the Franjione family in their challenge to others to become regular blood donors. What better time than now to make a new resolution to donate blood?

Michigan Blood wants to remind the public that they are the sole provider of blood and blood products for the majority of hospitals in Michigan, including Spectrum Health, Metro Health, and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Donations that are given outside of Michigan Blood do not stay local or have a direct impact in your local community. Donate blood at Michigan Blood and help save the lives of patients in Michigan hospitals. Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate. Blood donors should bring photo ID. For additional information on donating blood, and to make an appointment, visit www.miblood.org.

Mobile blood drives coming up nearby:

2/8 – Rockford Area Donor Site at the Community Cabin, main room, 220 N Monroe St., Rockford, 12:00 pm to 7:00 pm

2/16 – Cedar Springs Area Donor Site at Cedar Springs United Methodist Church, Gym, 140 S Main St., Cedar Springs, 12:30 pm to 7:00 pm

2/17 – Greenville American Legion Post 101, Community Room, 1320 W Washington St., Greenville, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm

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