Rockford donors reach milestones

Bill allows 16-year-olds to give blood 

Melissa Meitz, Donor Relations Specialist for Michigan Blood, recently announced the results of the blood drive held Monday, Jan. 3, at the Rockford Community Cabin. “It was a great start to 2011,” Meitz reported. She said 67 people signed in and donated a total of 57 units of blood. This allows 171 lives to be saved. One of the donors was giving blood for the first time.

Meitz reported that there were several people reaching a milestone of gallons donated. They were Sandra Mellema and Kyle Smoes at one gallon each, Michelle Blystone at two gallons, Gene Birdsall and Ronald Szokowski at three gallons each, Jacqueline Decker and C. Worst at four gallons each, Debra Rinehart with five gallons, and Lauri Calkins reaching nine gallons of blood donated.

The next local Michigan Blood blood drives will be at the Community Cabin, 220 N. Monroe Street, Rockford, on Tuesday, Feb. 8, from noon to 6 p.m.

“Also, I am sure you have heard the great news about 16-year-old donors,” Meitz reported. “In December a bill was passed allowing 16-year-olds to donate with parent or guardian permission. Jennifer Granholm signed it in as law at the end of the year, so we are now able to accept 16-year-old donors.”

Meitz said Michigan is the 40th state to pass the legislation. “We are really excited about it,” she said. “Now we just have to spread the word.”

The permission slip for 16-year-old donors can be found online at

Michigan Blood is located at 1036 Fuller NE in Grand Rapids.

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