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      A little blood gives a lot of life

      Big comfy blue chairs where donors sit to donate blood

      It is not hard to give the gift of life through blood donation. The process is easy: a comfy chair, a good breakfast and with one little pinch you'll be on your way to giving blood. A healthy person can donate blood every 56 days and the process takes about an hour to complete with a short medical exam. A person can donate their "whole blood" or through a new process called apheresis platelet donation.

      Although the process takes about two hours, apheresis platelet donation allows donors to give as many platelets as were traditionally collected from 15 people. It also helps Michigan Blood become more responsive to the needs of cancer patients and those in the neonatal ICU.

      When donated to Michigan Blood, all the blood stays local or goes directly to Munson Medical Center. Donors are required to be a healthy person 17 or older, or 16 with parental consent. Donors must also weigh at least 110 pounds and pass a short medical exam.

      Michigan Blood's Main Donor Center is located at 2575 Aero Park Drive in Traverse City and is open from 10:30 AM to 6 PM Monday through Thursday, 7:30 AM to 3 PM on Friday, and 9 AM until 12 PM the first Saturday of each month.

      There are also plenty of mobile blood donations going on in the area and you can find one close to you by visiting the Michigan Blood website, www.miblood.org