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Wednesday
Jan212015

Michigan Blood Holds Blood Drive in Support of Ernie Balcueva

SAGINAW, MICH. – Michigan Blood is partnering with the community to host the ‘Have a Heart for Ernie Part 2’ Blood Drive in support of Saginaw native Ernie Balcueva.

Balcueva received his second lifesaving heart transplant in December after a rare and tragic disease took the lives of his four brothers. His life was saved because of blood and organ donors.

“We are asking the community to donate a unit of blood in Ernie’s honor.  You never think about the importance of blood donation until it affects you or your family,” said Sarah Balcueva, Ernie’s cousin and Saginaw Township resident.

The blood drive will run from 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. Friday, January 30 at Fashion Square Mall, 4787 Fashion Square Mall in Saginaw Township.  Michigan Blood will donate $10 to the Have a Heart For Ernie Fund for every person who attempts to donate blood.   

“Ernie has been at Mayo Clinic since May and he is unable to work,” said Balcueva.  “He has incurred a mountain of medical expenses.”

Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 110 pounds may be eligible to give blood every 56 days. Blood donors should bring photo ID (or two forms of non-photo ID). Appointments are preferred.

Individuals can schedule appointments by visiting www.miblood.org or calling 1-866-MIBLOOD (642-5663).

Michigan Blood hosts 3,700 blood drives a year to help meet the needs of local hospitals across Michigan. Hospitals rely completely on blood donated voluntarily to organizations like Michigan Blood. In Saginaw, Michigan Blood is the exclusive blood provider for Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary’s of Michigan