The heart beats on – thanks to blood donors

Karen Coney Coplinby Karen Coney Coplin

Are you part of the estimated 30 percent of adult Americans who make New Year’s resolutions? Common and popular resolutions often focus on health and wellness, like a commitment to lose weight or to quit smoking.

Even if New Year’s resolutions aren’t your cup of tea, perhaps you would consider acting in connection with “National Blood Donor Month,” which has taken place every January since 1970. Blood donation is itself a healthy choice as some studies have shown it reduces blood iron levels with high levels having been linked to an increase in the risk of heart disease. Also, your vital signs such as blood pressure, body temperature, and pulse rate are part of a “mini-physical” done prior to giving blood.

The month of January was selected for this awareness campaign because blood donation levels traditionally drop to their lowest levels in the first month of the year.

give bloodIn northern cities the winter weather is cited as one culprit; and, everywhere, post-holiday realities take hold as people revert to their normal routines which may not include blood donation on a regular basis. However, the need for blood is ongoing and critical shortages do occur.

Every person depends on blood, and the only source for blood and platelets is from healthy volunteers willing to take time out to give. An hour is all you need to change – or save – a life!


Our local Community Blood Center is located at 311 9th St. N., Suite 108. It’s located just west of the popular Wellness Center at the Naples Community Hospital. Its mission includes: “What’s collected here, stays here” as the CBC serves the patient population in Naples. The website for this nearly six-decades old, not-for-profit blood center has a wealth of information that will interest and inform regular and potential donors alike. This address is:, and the phone number is 239.624.4120.


To encourage regular, repeat donations, most donors can give blood every 56 days, as well as to inspire first time donors, a new incentive called the “Ultimate Go for 3” just launched with Germain BMW as a CBC partner. If you donate blood three times this year or dating back to November 1, 2014 before April 30, 2015, you will qualify for a weekend get-away package as well as the chance to drive a 2015 BMW 428i convertible for 2 days. The package includes a night’s stay at the Naples Grand Beach Resort, a spa service, and a dinner credit of $100 at the Aura restaurant. Donors who make one donation prior to the end of April deadline will also be eligible for a $50 gas card, and two time donors can win an iPad. For more information about the Frequent Donor Program or National Blood Donor Month, contact Laura Rosen at


Type A – you’re okay. AB, just what we need. B and 0, be part of our show!

The Community Blood Center website also shares patient and donor stories, with many different reasons to consider giving blood. Perhaps one of these will connect with you. Maybe a family member or friend needed a transfusion, and you realized that blood supplies were low. It is estimated that every 25 minutes someone in a local hospital receives blood, as an accident victim, for surgical needs, and treatment for cancer and other diseases. Maybe you know someone who is organizing a blood drive at a mobile location. Others may
believe it is the right thing to do and is the ultimate way to “give back” to the community. For others, the act of acknowledging their own
good health and ability to donate is its own reward. Whatever the reason, a reliable blood supply depends on donors.

For me, it’s a personal commitment as my beloved dad fought a valiant battle but succumbed to leukemia. I urge everyone who can, as your health permits, to consider blood donations on a regular basis.

In my dad’s case, many donors kept him strong, and, for a time, he even was in remission. Blood donors are lifesavers, true heroes. And while I know it is not possible for ‘everyone’ to donate blood it IS possible to consider kind thoughts, words and acts as a part of daily life harkening back to last month’s column about the Shea-Shea Shines on Kindness movement.

Email Karen at with suggestions for future coverage here, or to receive a list of organizations which have been profiled on these pages. This marks the fifth anniversary of the Heart to Heart column, and, the 20th anniversary of the Bellini on Fifth restaurant (located at 445 5th Ave. S.) which was featured, in part, in the inaugural “Heart to Heart” column of January, 2010. Hearty congratulations and buon appetito!

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