Kerrie Hoening, Michelle Colesanti and Marie Gilmore stand with the Big Red Bus OneBlood staff. Ten people donated at the drive that the Osprey Observer hosted on August 2.

The next time you see OneBlood’s Big Red Bus Bloodmobile in a parking lot, you might want to seriously think about stopping in to make a donation.

We all know that by doing so, you help save other lives, but did you know that the one to benefit the most just might be you?
The Osprey Observer recently hosted a blood drive and I started wondering about the benefits of the donation not only to the blood recipient, but also to the donor.

There is no better feeling than knowing you have done something that might save a life and donating blood most certainly fills that niche. Feeling good about your unselfish act can help promote longevity of your own life and helps to put you in a positive mood – not a bad start.

Denise Graf, Graphic Artist for the paper said, “My dad has always donated blood in the past. This trained me into being eager to donate whenever there was an opportunity. While witnessing how much blood Dad needed during his recent open heart surgeries (including a heart transplant), I recognized each pint as a blessing. I will continue donating every opportunity I get. It saves lives.”

Prior to donating, you get a mini health test – blood pressure taken, iron levels measured and temperature noted. You will also get a cholesterol reading after donation.

What you might not know is that it might help you with weight loss. A pint of blood will help you immediately lose one pound – one 16 oz. pint of blood equals one pound body weight. You will gain it back in the liquids you consume afterwards, but for the next two days, your body will burn approximately 650 additional calories while your body works hard to regenerate new blood cells.

Donating blood regularly helps reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes. When you donate, some of the iron in your body is depleted. It will quickly be replenished during the weeks following donation, but by regulating iron levels this way, it can prevent danger caused by too much iron on blood vessels and reduce the risk of diseases associated with blockage and other blood vessel abnormalities.

Along with that, studies show that regular blood donors also had lower risks of cancer and mortality, again thanks to the lower levels of iron.
Donating also helps to regulate cholesterol levels, accelerate wound healing and much more.

In order to donate, you must be in general good health, 16 years old and over 110 pounds.

Be a hero to someone. For more information or to make an appointment, visit

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Michelle has been with the Osprey Observer for almost nine years, and her current position is Assignment Editor. She resides in Bloomingdale with her husband Phil, two sons, Philip and Matthew, and Tigger the cat.