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One Year Later, Memory of Pulse Tragedy Still Inspiring Floridians to Donate Blood

June 12th, 2017 by Jake Stofan
One year ago Monday, 49 people lost their lives at Pulse Night Club in the worst mass shooting in the country’s history.
In the aftermath of the horrific act of violence Floridians came out in droves to donate blood in support of the victims.
OneBlood collected 28,000 pints of blood in just seven days last year following the shooting at Pulse Night Club.
On a normal week they take in just 18,000.
Kelsey Deese was among those who donated in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting.
Deese grew up in Orlando and has connections with the LGBT community in the city.
“I know a lot of people who are hurting still from it,” said Deese.
One year later Kelsey is still donating regularly.
One in three who gave blood in the wake of the tragedy were first time donors.
75% of them haven’t come back to donate again.
“You should come back, because you helped save a life a year ago and you can continue to do that every 56 days when you’re eligible to donate blood,” said Susan Forbes with OneBlood.
The blood used to save Pulse victims didn’t come from the donations following the shooting. It came from those who donated in the days leading up to the tragedy.
That’s why OneBlood officials say it’s so important to donate year round.
“Blood has to be there in advance of it ever being needed and that’s why these blood donors really are the first, first responders,” said Forbes.
Deese says last year’s tragedy was the wake up call she needed to become a regular donor.
She hopes others got the message too.
“I don’t think we need to wait for tragedies to happen to do something good,” said Deese. “I think it’s sad that sometimes that’s what it takes to get someone in the doors. “
The one time donations following the shooting didn’t go to waste.
It was being used in hospitals in a matter of days and is credited with saving hundreds if not thousands of lives.
To find your nearest OneBlood donation center, go to www.oneblood.org.

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