Health

Wednesday, May 01 2013 02:54 PM

Two-day blood drive takes place this weekend

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    By Casey Christie / The Californian

    Houchin Community Blood Bank is located at 11515 Bolthouse Drive.

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BY LAURA LIERA California staff writer lliera@bakersfield.com

A two-day blood drive at Outdoor Galore this Saturday and Sunday seeks to collect more than 238 units of blood.

Houchin Community Blood Bank is excited about Outdoor Galore's second annual blood drive and hopes the community will take time to donate.

"We will have our two big buses out there and this is one of our top blood drives we do so I encourage everybody to go and donate because the blood is needed," said Carola Enriquez, director of community development for Houchin.

Chad Hathaway, 37, battled leukemia 14 years ago and said he wouldn't be alive today without the blood bank.

"In order to stay alive after my bone marrow transplant, I needed lots of blood to get better and the blood bank was vital in my recuperation," said local oilman Hathaway, who is also co-owner of the Bakersfield Blaze.

Without blood banks like Houchin, many people would struggle to stay alive, Hathaway said. He is thankful every day but feels that many people may be hesitant to donate.

"Until you have been on the other side of the fence, you don't realize how important every person's unique blood is and it's critical to have a community that understands the importance of donating blood."

The blood drive is from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at 6801 White Lane. Outdoor Galore will have drawings for $50,000 in giveaways for those who donate.

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