Letter to the Editor: Blood is life

Dear Editor:
My name is Kathy Kottenstette. My husband and I are just past the third anniversary of the birth of our 4-day-old daughter, Makayla Jane Kottenstette. She was born March 23, 2010 and passed on March 27, 2010.
Makayla forever changed our lives, and in honor of Makayla’s memory, we are continuing an annual blood drive in her name.
Last year, with the combined totals of the Bloodmobile, the St. Mary’s Pavilion and out-of-town donors, the total participation was more than 70 people we are aware of.
By each person donating one pint, we managed to raise almost nine gallons. For those of who may not know, the human body holds 1.5 gallons of blood.
Needless to say, 70 persons is a huge number and we’d like to see what we can do this year.
I hope none of you readers or your loved ones is ever on the receiving end of a transfusion. However, by donating blood you never know whose life you might save or whose family you can provide a little hope for.
I had the St. Mary’s Bloodmobile scheduled to come to the CNCC Campus at 500 Kennedy Dr. in Rangely on Monday, which is now passed. But if you’d still like to donate, please visit the St. Mary’s Pavilion in Grand Junction, Colo.
We ask that you tell them you are donating in Makayla Kottenstette’s name. Or if you live out of town, you can ask your local medical institution if there is a way to donate there.
We couldn’t think of a better way to honor Makayla’s short life than to give the gift of life to others. If you are not able to donate, please pass the word on to any of your friends, family or neighbors.
It takes about 30 minutes to give blood, and that blood will help someone in need. You don’t change a life by what you get; you change a life by what you give.
I’ve confirmed some of the frequent concerns/exclusions with St. Mary’s that people often think would prevent them from donating:
1) Donors must be at least 18 years of age (or 16 with parental permission).
2) Donors must weigh at least 120 pounds and be in good health.
3) It is NOT OK to donate if you have given blood in the past eight weeks.
4) It is NOT OK to donate if you’ve received a tattoo or unusual piercing within one previous year.
5) It is NOT OK to donate if you have a cold or the flu.
6) It is OK to donate if you are on medication and have asthma, high blood pressure, diabetes or thyroid issues as long as they are under control.
7) It is OK to donate if you’ve gone to Mexico, gone to a resort area and remained in the resort area.
8) It is NOT OK to donate if you’ve visited a remote area of Mexico or the jungle within one year of the donation.
We’d like to thank everyone for taking the time to hear our story and if you have chosen to donate blood. If donation isn’t for you, thank you for passing the word along. Feel free to contact me with any questions.
Kathy and Ian Kottenstette