'It's the right thing to do': Life-long blood donor recommends others give it a try

Posted at 3:37 PM, Jun 07, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-07 20:37:31-04

WOODWAY, Texas — Woodway resident Cindy Potts first donated blood back in 1991 after years of her dad recommending it.

"He would tell me 'You know you should do this, it's not bad'," Potts said.

"I would say 'No, I don't like needles'."

Then one day there was a blood drive at her church, and after her husband convinced her to try it, she found that donating was a lot less scary than she expected.

"I thought 'I'm going to keep doing this'," Potts told 25 News.

"It doesn't hurt — it's relatively painless. When I found out you can save up to three lives with one donation, to me, it was a win win."

For the last three decades, Potts has donated countless times and helped more people than she can even imagine.

"I have O+, which is not the universal, but can go to almost anyone."

While both O+ and O- are always in high demand, local blood banks say they are in constant need of all blood types.

"There's no simpler way to say it, it helps save lives," Jessica Amara with Carter BloodCare said.

"The only way we can get the blood we need is by volunteer donors showing up at our blood drives and taking an hour out of their day to come in and donate."

Only about three percent of the population are blood donors, and places like Carter BloodCare are hoping to increase that number.

"That's a big burden to put on folks to provide for the rest of the patients who need it," Amaro said.

"Just keep that in mind and know if you come to donate blood that it's going to help somebody or save somebody."

With the donor pool being so small and nearly a quarter of them being students, Amaro said it's always slow when school is out of session.

"When they break for the summer, winter, Thanksgiving, any holiday you can think of, we lose a big chunk of our donor base," Amaro said.

"That's when we really rely on the community to come out and support us."

"If you are eligible and can donate, just do it," Potts said.

"It takes less than an hour normally. You feel good and you make other people feel good."

To be eligible to donate blood, you just have to be 17 years old and weight at least 110 pounds.