By Alicia Dorr
Dennis Sandoval knows his way around a blood drive. As the district manager of blood services , Sandoval leads teams to ensure hospital shelves are stocked with blood and blood drives run smoothly in southeast Michigan. Not only does he know how to collect blood, he also rolls up his sleeve to give lifesaving blood donations regularly.
“It doesn’t cost any money, and everything you donate you get it back,” Dennis said.
Dennis has been with the American Red Cross Michigan Region for 11 years, but he’s been giving blood for a lot longer than that. In fact, he has donated 44 gallons of blood over 44 years. Over that time his family has been touched by the need for lifesaving blood – his nephew had leukemia and is thankfully OK. Dennis is passionate advocate for giving blood.
“It’s a nice thing to do, and you may save a life on top of it,” he said.
To this day, Dennis still remembers the first time he collected blood from a donor as a Red Cross phlebotomist. Because of this, he has tips for people preparing for their appointment. First, he said, make sure to stay hydrated before giving blood. And don’t be afraid of the needle.
“It’s just a little prick, and Red Cross workers are well-trained to do a great job and make you very comfortable,” Dennis said.
He recommends anyone thinking of giving blood to also consider donating platelets or find out for eligibility for Red Cross Power Red donations. The impact from donating blood is immediate. Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. Schedule an appointment today at redcrossblood.org.