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HaysMed hosts Super Bowl blood drive Thursday

Special to The Hays Daily News

Making the Hays Medical Center blood drive happen Thursday is a team effort led by new blood drive coordinator Hayley Schmidtberger, who works as staffing coordinator for in-patient units at the hospital.

"I get together people from different departments, and we come up with a theme for each blood drive," Schmidtberger said. "We try to make it fun so people will want to participate."

The Hays community is invited to join the staff at the medical center and give blood from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday in the Hadley Room at HaysMed, 2200 Canterbury. The theme of the drive is Super Bowl. All presenting donors will enjoy a Frito chili pie and have a chance to win a new television to put to good use Sunday.

As a cancer survivor, Schmidtberger understands the importance of blood drives. In October 2004, she was just 14 when diagnosed with acute promyelocytic leukemia. While being treated, she needed "quite a few" units of both red blood cells and platelets to survive. Next month, Schmidtberger will celebrate her seventh year being cancer free.

"Having cancer really gives you a different outlook on life," she said. "I'm not able to be a blood donor, but organizing this drive allows me to give back."

Blood collected at the drive will help many patients, including those battling leukemia and other forms of cancer. In fact, some cancer patients require daily blood transfusions as part of their treatment.

To make an appointment, call Schmidtberger at (785) 623-2388 or email Appointments are best, but walk-ins are welcome, too.

All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply. A blood donor card or driver's license, or two other forms of identification, are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 (16 with parental permission in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health might be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.