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Cold temps don't stop Missoula blood donors from saving lives

Red Cross Gift of Life
Posted at 9:50 AM, Dec 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-22 11:50:46-05

MISSOULA - Wednesday was a cold day to leave the house to donate blood, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important.

A handful of people headed to the American Red Cross office in Missoula to donate blood during the TroyStrong blood drive.

The Red Cross in Missoula hosts blood drives five days a week at different locations around the city. Wednesday's TroyStrong blood drive, however, was extra special.

It was in honor of 8-year-old Troy Ross who, in 2017, was flown to a Seattle hospital in need of an emergency blood transfusion. He needed to replace three-quarters of his blood. Thanks to nine holiday blood donors, he lived through it.

“When my son needed blood, it was a holiday weekend, and you know I'm just so fortunate to nine donors, who I still don't know to this day," Troy's father, Wes Ross, said. "I’ve said this a thousand times, without them stepping up, whether they were busy or had something on their plate, none of this matters, and I don’t have a son anymore.”

Missoula Red Cross phlebotomist Taylor Carson wants to make sure everyone understands the importance of giving blood.

“What a lot of people don’t realize is even with a single donation today, you can save three different lives," Carson said. "It’s just incredibly important for a numerous amount of reasons, and we’re always short on blood, so you’re consistently saving someone’s life.”

Perhaps due to the cold — and the busy holiday season — the Red Cross only had a handful of donors make appointments for the TroyStrong blood drive, but those who did donate, say they were happy that they did.

"I think it’s a really cool way to give to another person in the most direct, life-giving way possible, and it takes less than an hour of my time, and I’m just grateful to be able to do it," one donor said.

The Missoula Red Cross donation center is located off Reserve Street behind Walgreens. Additional information about upcoming Red Cross blood drives can be found here.