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Rockwall Community Blood Drive at Lake Pointe Church Nov. 11

(ROCKWALL, TX – November 8, 2017) As the season of giving rolls around, Carter BloodCare invites all to give blood and save lives during the Rockwall Community Blood Drive at Lake Pointe Church on Saturday, Nov. 11 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Mike Larriviere, the primary coordinator for the community blood drive, said they hold the drive three times a year in March, July and November around holidays when blood supply is usually very low.

Larriviere, who has been coordinating blood drives in Garland, Rowlett and Rockwall for the past 25 years, said he gives blood about three to four times a year and estimates he’s donated about 12 gallons worth to date.

“After that first time, it became a no-brainer,” Larriviere said. “I never thought twice about donating blood after that. I don’t see it as a burden, it’s what I can do to give back. It’s about saving lives, because it’s life and death for some people.”

The blood drive typically draws around 100-120 donors each drive, including first-time donors like Larriviere’s 16-year-old son Josh Larriviere. Josh has been helping his dad with the blood drive since he was just three years old, and gave blood for the first time earlier this year.

“Physically I was kind of tired afterwards, which is normal, but emotionally I felt great knowing that my blood was going to help someone in need,” Josh said. “Giving blood is incredibly important because it goes to people who need it during surgeries or after an accident.”

Another donor to the Rockwall Community Blood Drive is Patrick Almond, a Rockwall native who contracted a blood disorder after a high school missionary trip to North Africa. Almond was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which is caused by organisms that releases toxins that cause problems with bleeding, kidney, and other organ dysfunction. He realized the importance of giving blood when he received multiple units of donor blood while undergoing a life-saving blood transfusion at Baylor Medical Center.

“The blood drive that Mike heads up was huge for me not because I was able to give blood, but because it replaced the blood products I used that ultimately may have saved my life,” said Almond, who currently practices anesthesia as a CRNA in Jackson, Wyoming. “I have ever since donated blood when the opportunity arises. Not only in my personal medical experience, but as an anesthesia provider, I have seen lives saved by administration of blood products. This absolutely is not possible without donors. It is overall a very simple thing almost anyone can do that will save lives.”

To schedule an appointment to donate in the community blood drive this Saturday, visit  https://ww2.greatpartners.org/donor/schedules/drive_schedule/73046. Remember to eat a nutritious meal and drink plenty of water at least an hour before giving blood. All donors must weigh at least 110 pounds, feel well on the day of donation, and present a government-issued photo ID each time they give blood.

Potential blood donors may volunteer beginning at age 16 with parental consent; 17-year-olds may give independently and there is no upper age limit for donating blood. For more information call 1-800-366-2834 or visit carterbloodcare.org.

About Carter BloodCare

Carter BloodCare is a community based, non-profit blood center that provides life-saving transfusion resources to more than 200 medical facilities in 50-plus counties of north, central and east Texas. The 501(c)(3) organization is one of the largest blood programs in Texas, delivering more than 300,000 blood products annually to meet patients’ treatment requirements. Carter BloodCare’s services include collection, processing, specialized laboratory testing, storage and distribution of blood and blood products. The center is accredited by the AABB, including a laboratory with accreditation for molecular testing of red cell antigens. It is licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and is a member of America’s Blood Centers.

By Austin Wells, Blue Ribbon News.