Sara Lu Colabucci
Good Karma
Female | Ocean City, MD   United States
Woman Donated Blood Every Month for Over 40 Years, and She Has No Plans to Stop
Posted By: RealWinners
5/05/14 11:56 PM
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Donating blood is a simple way to help someone in need, but the donations Sara "Lu" Colabucci from Ocean City, Maryland, has made are simply extraordinary. This inspiring 80-year-old woman has donated blood and platelets every single month for the past 40 years.

"The first time I donated blood was for my father," she tells the Good News blog of the first time she donated blood in the 1950s. She was a teenager at the time, and her father was undergoing surgery for stomach problems and needed a blood transfusion.

"They would only take half a pint from me," she recalls. "Thank goodness we had other people donating blood."

Decades later in 1974, Colabucci saw a bumper sticker encouraging people to donate blood and platelets, a type of blood cell that helps your blood to clot. They are only viable for five days, and hospitals are always in need of them. She visited the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, to donate, and returned again the next month, then the month after that. The years went by, and there wasn't a month she skipped her visit to NIH.

"We are allowed to go every four weeks, and since I had the time and I could go, and it was gonna help somebody, that's why I did it," said Colabucci, who has worked as a bus driver and secretary. "I was lucky, I worked for the school system and they allowed us [time off] to donate."

Even when she moved 150 miles away to Ocean City, she didn't let distance stop her from making her monthly trip to the NIH Clinical Center. To this day, she makes a monthly, three-hour drive to donate primarily platelets and catch up with the staff that she considers family.

"A woman came up to me ... and she thanked me and she said, 'You helped keep my husband alive longer,'" she recalls. "You never know until someone tells you what it means to them."

She isn't (and has never been) afraid of needles, but Colabucci understands that many people are. Still, she hopes her dedication inspires others to donate despite any trepidation. "You tell them to close their eyes and put their head up and look at the ceiling, and don't look at the needle," she suggests.

"With her decades of blood donations, Lu is helping to save lives and find tomorrow's cures here at America's research hospital," said Dr. John I. Gallin, director of the NIH Clinical Center. " We are lucky to have her helping provide hope to our patients."

It's estimated that Colabucci has made 312 platelet donations over the years. Since one donation can be split between multiple patients, she has had an impact on over 600 patients.

"I always felt God put me on this earth to help people," she says. "I plan to donate until I die." an-donated-blood-once-month-over-40-years-**.html

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Name: Sara Lu Colabucci
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