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Giving something back

NLFD hosting blood drive to support long-time firefighter

NORTH LIBERTY– The North Liberty Fire Department (NLFD) is hosting a blood drive on Monday, May 6, at the fire station from 3:30 until 5 p.m. It’s a way for the volunteers to give something back, and at the same time, pay it forward while showing support for one of their own.
After 40 years of helping people on their worst days, Firefighter Bob Parker was forced to face his own worst day when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia on March 7, 2012. Three months in the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics (UIHC) followed with multiple blood transfusions. Through it all, Parker kept in touch with his fellow firefighters. When he couldn’t attend a department meeting, Parker utilized the Internet and Skype to participate. He also used Skype to attend an annual award dinner, maintaining a perfect record for attending the function. Parker also sent frequent emails to the crew to check up on them and remind them to operate safely.
“He’s been there forever, he knows everything,” firefighter/EMT Rob DuBay said, of their friend and mentor.
Parker underwent a bone marrow transplant and is now in remission. DuBay said, “he’s doing great.” Throughout his treatments, Parker received over 60 pints of blood and more than 20 units of blood platelets. The department hopes to collect at least 60 units of blood during the drive to replace what he used. The UIHC goes through nearly 600 units of blood products every week. The firefighters are inviting the community to help them with their goal.
To be eligible to donate blood, a person must: be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be cold/flu symptom free for five days, pass a mini-physical and medical history screening, be able to show a photo ID, be able to provide either a Social Security number or driver’s license number, drink fluids and eat a meal prior to donating, bring a list of any medications currently being taken and of any places outside the U.S. visited within the last three years.
Appointments are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome. To schedule a time, contact www.uiowa.giveblood.org or e-mail DuBay at rdubay@ci.north-liberty.us. DuBay can also be reached at 319-541-7463.