COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - As many people donated blood on Thursday for the annual Hit a Home Run for Life Blood Drive, one Midlands woman says it's because of blood donations that she's alive today.
WIS and the American Red Cross teamed up for the blood drive. Donors had a choice of five different locations to donate their blood for people like Lorraine Bowman.
Bowman was diagnosed with sickle cell as a baby and doctors didn't expect her to live past the age of 12.
"This is something we were born with. You didn't ask for it, but you learn to live with it," Bowman said.
She turned 60 this year.
"God is good," Bowman expressed.
Sickle cell a red blood cells disorder that typically requires frequent blood transfusions.
"Sometimes every couple of months. Some people have to go once a month. You lose a lot of blood because it doesn't replenish fast enough," Bowman explained.
That's where blood donations come in, something Juanita Williams says she got involved with decades ago after a co-worker was injured.
"We all wanted to help him and when we found out that giving blood was one way to help him, I just continued because I figure somebody could use it and it would help somebody along the way," Williams said.
"You never know. You might be giving blood for me today but it could be you or one of your loved ones. When you go and donate blood it's a free gift," Bowman said.
"Sometimes we don't have a lot of money to contribute to things, but we find other ways to give back and giving blood is one of the ways that you can give back," Williams said.
The annual blood drive ran until 7:00 p.m. Thursday.