Henry L. Ongaro

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I received the summer edition of the Lifelines newsletter and I was very surprised at the statistic that less than 10% of eligible people actually donate blood.  I have a very personal reason why I donate. My reason for donating is my grandson. I had started donating 20 years before, but this brought my donations to an even more personal level. RJ, my grandson, was born 16 weeks premature.

He is a twin and his brother did not make it.  RJ was 1 lb, 10 ozs when he was delivered and he required multiple blood donations to survive.  RJ spent 6 months in the NICU at the hospital before coming home.  It was a very traumatic experience for my son and his wife, as well as, my wife and me.  If it was not for the generosity of blood donors, RJ would not be with us today.  RJ is now approaching his 6th birthday (09/30/2012) and he is doing very well.  We are all grateful for all the people that donate because they greatly affected our daily lives. I hope to be able to donate for many years to come so I can pay this forward.  Thanks to your organization and all who donate.