HONOLULU (KHON2) — January is Blood Donor Month and the Blood Bank of Hawaii needs help from the public now more than ever. Honolulu resident Gerald Yamane is considered a super donor.
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Blood donations tend to drop significantly across the nation after the holidays, and Hawaii is no exception — especially during the pandemic. Yamane’s efforts have clocked him over 600 blood donations in his lifetime.
“As of today, 607 donations since 1976,” Yamane said.
Yamane donates platelets every two weeks and continues to show up despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I really don’t have anyone in my family who needed [blood], I just felt that it was my duty to take care of the ohana here in Hawaii, especially the children,” Yamane said about why he donates.
Donations to the blood bank significantly dropped when COVID-19 hit the islands.
“With the pandemic, we’ve seen a 15% decline in blood donations from start to finish,” said Blood Bank of Hawaii Chief Operating Officer Todd Lewis.
Yamane said, he felt even more compelled to donate because of the coronavirus.
“I thought it was even more important for me to keep it up and do my maximum effort because I knew that the number of blood donations [was] going to go down,” Yamane said.
Yamane wants those considering donating their blood to know that it is not painful.
“80% of the time, I don’t even feel it!” Yamane said. “You watch a video on your iPad and you’re done, and you feel fantastic afterwards.”
Blood Bank of Hawaii says, each donation can help saves lives.
“If you want to be a hero and take charge during this situation, here’s an opportunity to get out and save up to three lives,” Lewis said. “If you’ve never donated, I strongly encourage everyone to try and donate at least once.”
For more information on how to donate to the Blood Bank of Hawaii, click here.
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