WTHR Blood Drive Saturday

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The WTHR Blood Drive is underway, offering you the opportunity to save lives by giving just a few minutes of your time to donate blood. There are plenty incredible stories of survival - stories of people who wouldn't be here if it weren't for people raising their sleeve to donate blood.

Tracey Hudson was diagnosed with leukemia a year ago and because of that diagnosis, she needed a lot of blood.

"I've gone through five rounds of chemo and every time I would go through chemo, it would wipe out my blood cells, wipe out my bone marrow while killing the cancer. I would need bags and transfusions of blood to keep me alive," said Hudson.

In October, Tracey experienced a critical situation where she needed more blood than usual.

"I spiked a very high fever, had a hard time to get it to break and it was burning my platelets off. I can't tell you how many platelets I needed and I still ended up developing a brain bleed," said Hudson.

Because of the blood supply that was on hand, Hudson got what she needed to survive.

"If I wouldn't have had those, I would have had a stroke and who knows what his story would have been," said Hudson of her 11-year-old son, Alex.

Charlie Walker spearheaded a recent blood drive at Carmel High School. The way he looks at it, the donors are his soldiers and he's rallying the troops to help save others' lives.

"I feel like it's something easy everyone can do and it means a lot to a lot of people and helps more than you know," Walker said.

Charlie knows just how crucial donating blood can be. He carries a photo reminder with him everywhere he goes.

"I had a friend pass away of leukemia in fourth grade," he said. "Through giving blood, it helped him get through the stuff he needed to get through. This prolonged his life and gave him a fighting chance."

Giving others a fighting chance is exactly what these students are doing. Carmel High School sponsors two blood drives a year. They're one of the biggest efforts in the state by the leading group of donors.

"High school blood drives are so important to the Indiana Blood Center and to blood centers across the country, because they make up 30 percent of all the units we collect in a given year," said Wendy Mehringer, Indiana Blood Center. "High school students don't often get the kudos for the things they do well. They are doing what the adults in the community are not in many cases."

"I've been chairing it since my freshman year, even when I couldn't donate blood," said Jessica Chiang.

Now a junior, Jessica is finally old enough to donate her blood to a cause she's already donated so much time to.

"I definitely think giving back to the community is one of our biggest priorities," she said. "It's incredible, really. Sitting here took me 20 minutes and I just saved three lives and I can't imagine the happiness I bring to them."

Generating happiness through restoring life - one drop at a time.

The WTHR Blood Drive continues Saturday from 8am-2pm. There are eight locations throughout central Indiana to donate including the Indiana Blood Center downtown at 3450 N. Meridian Street.

Blood Drive donation locations