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'My story would have been very different': Bangor City Councilwoman encourages Mainers to donate blood

A blood donor-recipient shares her story and hopes to showcase just how lifesaving donating blood can be

BANGOR, Maine — Angela Okafor holds many titles. She's a mother of three young children, runs an immigration law practice, and is a Bangor City Councilwoman. She’s also a recent blood donor-recipient.

"I was feeling tired, and dizzy, and exhausted," Okafor recalled. "I fainted at my house. I didn’t know what was happening." 

One morning last September, Okafor was rushed to the hospital where she found out she was experiencing upper gastrointestinal bleeding caused by an acute duodenal ulcer. She had lost three pints of her body's blood.

“I never foresaw this for myself. I never imagined this,” she said.

Doctors had to give her two life-saving blood transfusions.

"If there was no blood and if there was no match for me, you know, my story would have been very different,” Okafor said.

She hopes by sharing her near-death experience, it will show the people of Maine the life-saving power blood donations can have.  

"This incident, nobody plans for it. Nobody sees it coming. Yet, it happens so many times," Okafor added. "Even if I can’t qualify to donate blood, I’d love to find ways to at least volunteer."

You have the chance to help fellow Mainers like Okafor by taking part in the NEWS CENTER Maine Red Cross Blood Drive.

Make a difference. Join us on Wednesday, March 24 for the blood drive.

HOW TO REGISTER:

Go to RedCrossBlood.org

  • Click on DONATE BLOOD then FIND A BLOOD DRIVE
  • Enter CODE: NEWSMAINE
  • Choose your donation site and time

PLEASE NOTE: Walk-ins are welcomed, but we can't guarantee the staff will be able to take them.

RELATED: 'Help Can't Wait': Register to donate blood at NEWS CENTER Maine's 2021 Red Cross Blood Drive on March 24