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Record-holding annual Vermont blood drive kicks off

Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 7:42 PM EST
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RUTLAND, Vt. (WCAX) - Rutland’s Gift of Life Marathon holds the national record for blood donations in one day.

That blood drive is back again. It kicked off Tuesday in Fair Haven.

It will continue in Rutland Dec. 15-17.

The drive is doing better than expected and the next two days are pretty full but there are still about 200 slots available next Friday.

Event organizer Steve Costello says this year they are especially encouraging first-time blood donors after seeing a dramatic drop.

“This drive has always been one that drew a lot of first-time donors, so we do want to encourage people who have never done this, think about it,” Costello said. “It’s a really simple process and you literally will be helping save a life.”

A life like that of Stefanie Schaffer, who is this year’s ambassador. Schaffer was critically injured in an explosion in 2018.

“For me, it has been so important a few different times. There was the time where it literally saved my life, getting these transfusions, I wouldn’t have survived without them. And then throughout my recovery, there were just times when I couldn’t heal on my own,” Schaffer said.

The Red Cross is socially distancing donors and wiping down everything.

Everyone must wear a mask and feel healthy to donate.

Click here for more on the Gift of Life Marathon.

Today's the day! Day 1 of the 2021 GOLM! If you don't have an appointment for today in Fair Haven, please call...

Posted by Gift of Life Marathon on Tuesday, December 7, 2021

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