Drops of donated blood can save lives; Blood drive planned

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"We've known from the beginning that they were our miracle babies so we pinch each other every day, admits Jennifer Redman. She is talking about her 3-year-old identical twins Cali and Brooke.

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Jennifer says, "I had what was called twin to twin transfusion so Cali was robbing Brooke of her fluids so I had been in and out of the hospital since November.

The Valley mother would have to give birth to her daughters' prematurely at 28 weeks. She explains, "Before they left the hospital they had to have five transfusions between the two of them." She adds, "It was a tablespoon every time they got transfused and it would have to be infused over twelve hours."

It would only take five tablespoons of blood to save Cali and Brooke's lives. Jennifer says, "To me, it's just a miracle, I mean, a tablespoon."

Sue Thew, with United Blood Services, explains, "You hear stories of people being injured in accidents that use hundreds of blood transfusions and equally alarming is when you get into a situation where you see a small amount of blood making such a big difference." Thew says that while all blood types are needed, one that is crucial is type O negative. Thew explains, "It's very unique in the sense that it can go to any patient regardless of their blood type and, in case of premature babies and pregnant women, Type O blood is the only blood type that they'll give to those patients." Thew says giving blood does not take much time at all.

She says, "When someone actually gives blood it only takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Most people feel just a tiny pinch like getting a shot and a few minutes later you're finished and then you can have all the refreshments you can eat.

With Maricopa County being the fourth fastest growing county in the nation, making sure there is not a blood shortage is very important. Thew says, "It's very important to donate because you never know who you're going to help."

As for Jennifer, her twins are living proof that every ounce of blood you donate can definitely make all the difference. She says, " I didn't know anything about blood transfusions. I didn't know anything about premature babies before they were born. I think it's important for people to realize that this is something that happens every day." She adds, "You don't need to do that much to save someone's life."

Now with the 4th of July upon us, blood is needed more than ever due to increases in accidents during the holidays.

If you are interested in donating to the "Save our Summer Blood Drive," it will take place on July 2 and 3. For more information, go to the .