Sign Up to Save a Life/Give Blood on Feb. 1 to Honor Niely Z

Niely Zoltak passed away last year, but not before touching the lives of many, many people in South County. She was just 29 years old when she died, from complications of a rare cancer. She was a 2007 graduate of Central Special School in Edgewater. You might have seen her mom or dad pushing her wheelchair on a walk, or at church or school events. She loved marching bands, concerts and parades, and the freedom swimming in the pool gave her body, stiffened by Cerebral Palsy.

Her family decided to remember Niely by asking friends, family and others from the community to donate blood in Niely’s honor. They signed up a dozen people, then contacted Anne Arundel Medical Center to get their blood mobile unit set up at Graul’s Parking Lot off Taylor Avenue from 1 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 1.

If you’d like to participate, click here to sign up or call 443-81-6339. You can honor Niely by participating at the Donor Center the week of Jan. 28 through Feb. 1.

Once you have registered, you’ll get an automated email reminder the day before you are schedule. If there is inclement weather, the drive will be rescheduled.

In order to donate blood, you have to be in good health, and feeling well on the day of donation. Be 17 to 75 years old and weigh at least 110 pounds. Donors can give every 8 weeks. D

Check with AAMC if you have recently had vaccinations or immunizations, body piercings, infections requiring antibiotic treatment, tattoos or exposure to Hepatitis.

You will not be permitted to donate if you have traveled, within a year’s time, to an area that has malaria. In addition, if you spent time in Europe, the United Kingdom or in the military in Northern Europe from 1980 to 1996, check with AAMC before donating.

There are restrictions for donors using specific medications (tylenol, allergy medications, birth control pills, aspirin are ok).  Check with AAMC if you have a medical condition before donating. Don’t donate if you have symptoms of the flu, hepatitis, HIV, certain cancers, heart attack within the past year, pregnancy within the past six months, stroke within the past six months. Do not donate blood in order to get a blood test for medical conditions.

If you have never given blood, make sure you eat something before heading in. Here is what to expect:

  • When you arrive, they will talk to you about donating blood and review the questions you answered when you registered.
  • They’ll sit you in a chair where you can stretch your feet out in front of you
  • Relax
  • They will put a tourniquet around your arm to puff up your blood vessels
  • They clean the area with an antiseptic wipe
  • They’ll find the right spot and slide the needle in (the needle is a little larger than when you get a blood test, but it makes the donation go faster)
  • They will undo the tourniquet and let the blood flow into the collection bag
  • Relax
  • When the donation is complete, they’ll give you a Band-aid and a cookie or class of juice.
  • That’s it. You’re done.

Charlie, Brenda, Tess and Meredith thank you for your support.

Click here to see a video of the “Parade for One” at South River High School from December 2011.

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About Mitchelle Stephenson

I've gotta tell Mitchelle! Send your South County news tips, brag on your fab volunteers, talk traffic, police and fire or just say "howdy" to Mitchelle Stephenson, co-founding editor of the South River Source. Mitchelle@SouthRiverSource.com or reach me in person on mobile: 410-353-4706.

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