One of the San Diego Blood Bank’s biggest events of the year is scheduled on Tuesday, November 22 at the Town & Country Hotel in Mission Valley. Thousands of people are expected for the “Chargers Blood Drive 38,” the 38th year of this lifesaving event. The event contributes to the Blood Bank’s support of 100,000 patients annually including Escondido residents.
An Escondido resident whose life was saved three times by blood donors is Bree Long, who moved here two years ago.
Bree was diagnosed with pancreatitis in 2003. She received over one dozen blood transfusions to treat her illness. She is now fully recovered and a strong advocate of blood donations.
Long told the Times-Advocate: “I got pancreatitis in 2003. All of a sudden my pancreas became inflamed and attacked all my other organs.”
She had to be hospitalized and was in and out of the hospital for about three years. “During that time I received lots of blood and it saved my life — three times. I’m glad that’s over with.” Today she is recovered, except for the occasional pain that she gets from scarring.
Now an Escondido resident, she is a preschool instructional assistant, working with regular and special ed children in Vista.
She participates in the blood drive whenever she can and has also done the run. “I love the Chargers Drive. I take my son and he gets all of their signatures.”
She urges our readers to give blood. “I’d like people to know that it truly does save lives. I’m proof of that. I tell people ‘thank you so much’ for donating. You don’t really know where it goes when you give yourblood. It actually goes to a human being who can actually use it.”
The San Diego Blood Bank will host one of San Diego’s longest-running events, Chargers Drive 38, presented by San Diego County Credit Union on Tuesday, November 22 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Town & Country Convention Center in Mission Valley. In addition to an all-day blood drive, attendees can meet Chargers players, enjoy entertainment and take advantage of free bone marrow registry testing.
Activities also include a “Wellness Zone” with interactive exhibits, musical entertainment, complimentary food sampling and a performance by the Charger Girls.
New this year, as part of President Obama’s Precision Medicine Initiative, is the National Institutes of Health “All of Us,” booth. All of Us is the progressive effort to build a national, large-scale research enterprise with one million or more volunteers with the goal of developing more effective ways to prolong health and treat disease.
The blood drive kicks off at 8 a.m. and the “End Zone” entertainment area opens at 9 a.m. Admission for Chargers Drive 38 is $5 per person. Blood donors may request a refund of their admission price after they donate. Blood donors also receive a Chargers Drive 38 T-shirt, VIP wristband for the autograph line, and parking validation.
Additionally, a new Honda CR-V will be given away the day of the drive. The general public is encouraged to purchase an entry for their chance to win. The vehicle was donated by the Honda Dealers of San Diego County, and entry proceeds benefit the San Diego Blood Bank’s lifesaving programs and services. Entry forms available at www.sandiegobloodbank.org.
Questions? Visit www.sandiegobloodbank.org or call 619-296-6393.