Donors needed: NY Blood Center urges people to roll up sleeves, help save lives

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MELVILLE -

The New York Blood Center is in need of donations, and it's urging Long Islanders to roll up their sleeves and help save lives.

The center says it's facing an emergency blood shortage. It says winter months are the most difficult in getting people through the doors to donate.

Those donations can be crucial to people like Rafaello Carone, who at a young age was diagnosed with high-risk leukemia.

Carone had 36 blood transfusions by the time he was 5 years old. It's been more than 10 years since his last transfusion, but he thinks about the people who helped him every day.

“Gratitude. Just feeling blessed that I'm here because others decided to be good Samaritans and save my life. It's a feeling I can't even describe,” he told News 12. "I battled cancer, and now thankfully, am in remission.”

The process of donating takes about 30 to 45 minutes in total. Each donation could help save up to three lives. Blood is needed for cancer treatments, accident victims, women in child birth and many other reasons.

New York Blood Center has different locations open around the Island every day. Anyone who is interested in becoming a donor can call 1-800-933-BLOOD or visit NYBloodCenter.org.

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