Donating blood is truly a life-saving gift. In fact, by making just a single donation, you can save the lives of up to three people. But even more impressive than that is the woman from Ocean City, Maryland who is estimated to have impacted more than 600 lives.
How did she do it? As Yahoo! Shine reports, 80-year-old Sara ‘Lu’ Colabucci has donated her blood and platelets every single month (!) for the last 40 years.
The first time that Colabucci donated blood was back in the 1950s when her father underwent stomach surgery and needed a blood transfusion. Then in 1974, inspired by a bumper sticker encouraging more blood donations, she decided to stop by the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (NIHCC) in Bethesda, Maryland, to donate. Ever since, she’s returned to the same medical center every single month.
Colabucci remains so dedicated to the cause of donating blood that even after moving to Ocean City (a town that’s 150 miles away) she continues to make a monthly three-hour trip back to the NIHCC. Naturally, the staff consider her like family.
She hopes to inspire others to follow in her path. “I always felt God put me on this earth to help people,” she said. “I plan to donate until I die.”
According to the American Red Cross, every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. (Despite medical advancements that have improved the treatment of illnesses, there is always a high demand for blood.) And although an estimated 38 percent of the American population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually do so. As a result, healthy donors are always in demand.
An added bonus? Besides the incredible feeling that you’re saving lives and helping others, donating blood can actually improve your own health: By burning calories and even reducing the risk of heart disease and cancer.
Interested in becoming a first-time blood donor? Click here to learn more about this simple and safe procedure.