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      Red Cross: Need For Blood Continues

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      As the need for blood continues to increase, the Red Cross is encouraging new ways to give.

      Four centers in Nebraska are offering plasma donation for the first time.

      Officials said you can donate plasma every 28 days and it can be kept for up to a year.

      The Red Cross is also encouraging you to give platelets and double red cells.

      "We're kind of behind the eight ball with our blood products: the platelets, the plasma and the red cells; so we really do need people to come out and support their friends and neighbors that might unfortunately be in need of that very valuable product," said Jo Demarco, Red Cross donor recruitment.

      Donors came out to the Fifth Annual Rock and Roll Up Your Sleeves drive Wednesday in Grand Island, Kearney, Hastings and Holdrege.

      "The need is there all the time and it's even higher in the summer because we have more people traveling, which means unfortunately more car accidents and things like that, which means the need goes up as well," said Demarco.

      Root beer floats and t-shirts helped draw in donors.

      It's what swayed the two first timers Kim Lewandowski brought with her to donate.

      "There are many in need of blood, more than we realize and until something happens to us many of us don't realize that," said Lewandowski, a regular donor from Kenesaw.

      The Red Cross encourages you to visit redcrossblood.org or call your local chapter to sign up and give.
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