KFMB's Give Blood, Give Life Drive is Wednesday - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

KFMB's Give Blood, Give Life Drive is Wednesday

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Wednesday is the big day -- our annual Give Blood, Give Life Drive. To prepare for the event, we spoke with a county employee who has spent the past six years encouraging people to give blood, who during that time needed blood himself.

Juan Olmeda knows all about giving blood. He works for the county's Border Health Department. For years he donated blood, and also helped coordinate blood drives all over San Diego.

But in 2009, the tables were turned when Juan was diagnosed with leukemia and suddenly needed blood himself -- a lot of it.

"When I was in the hospital I received blood every day, sometimes twice a day, depending on my condition," Juan said.

A bone marrow transplant saved Juan's life, but he can no longer give blood. That's why he is even more determined to encourage people to donate blood at Wednesday's KFMB's Give Blood, Give Life Drive.

"I gave blood before because I love to help. But now the community paid me back and I received blood too," he said.

Juan is type O positive, a common blood type which is badly needed, especially in the Latino population. In fact, all blood types are needed right now during the summer months, when demand increases.

It's so easy to give blood. Just ask Juan, who'll be attending Wednesday's event, offering his encouragement and support.

"We need to give. Even if we do not have anything, everybody has blood. And they can save a life. And I'm one of them," he said.

The San Diego Blood Bank must collect 400 pints of blood every day to meet the county's needs. So please join the KFMB Stations' Give Blood, Give Life Drive on Wednesday, August 24 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Dixieline ProBuild, located at 4888 Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. All blood types are needed.

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