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"It's really the gift of life" Blood donations have saved this man's life multiple times

Penobscot Couty Treasurer John David Haitt shines a light on the importance of blood donations ahead of the NEWS CENTER Maine Red Cross Blood Drive

BANGOR, Maine — Right now, there's an urgent need for blood donations here in Maine.

Volunteers at the Red Cross say after the winter months, they're in a drought and need all blood types.

The donations are crucial to the well being of so many people... including one prominent man in Bangor. 

John David Hiatt is the Penobscot County treasurer and a member of the Bangor school board.

Blood donations have saved his life more than once.

He received blood when he was just a baby, born prematurely.

Then, at 8-years-old, he received blood when he got in a car accident and had a traumatic brain injury.

He also suffers from a blood disorder and anemia, which have kept him needing consistent blood transfusions throughout his entire life. 

Hiatt says he's grateful to all the donors who have helped him. 

"It's such a good gift. It's better than any kind of monetary or material gift you can give. It's really the gift of life."  

"When you give [blood] you're helping anyone from a newborn baby to the elderly in surgery, to myself."

Hiatt says people are inherently generous and would give blood more often if they knew how severe the need is.

"I think a lot of [the problem] is awareness and people don't realize the need is there. Every time we have a natural disaster and we have an emergency and an appeal goes out, people come out in droves."

The NEWS CENTER Maine Red Cross Blood Drive is March 27, 2019. It's happening at five locations: Portland, Bangor, Rockland, Lewiston, and Waterville.