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National Blood Donor Month: Honoring Donors Who Give Hundreds Of Pints (SLIDESHOW)

First Posted: 01/10/12 09:03 AM ET   Updated: 01/10/12 09:43 AM ET

Getting stuck with an IV may not seem appealing when you're already braving dropping temperatures and winter's sniffles, but this is precisely the time when blood donation centers need you most.

January marks Blood Donor Month and the season when donations drop significantly, according to the American Red Cross.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. is in need of blood, according to the nonprofit, and the call for donors is on the rise as road accidents and other cold-weather related issues come up.

If you're in need of a little inspiration to get going to your local blood drive, read through the stories of six super donors who won't let frigid weather or holiday commitments get in the way of their donating hundreds of pints of blood.

Learn more about how to donate blood here.

SLIDESHOW:

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  • Dean Willis, Donated 100 Gallons

    When Dean Willis' father-in-law needed blood after getting heart-bypass surgery in 1975, he unhesitatingly stepped in to help, <a href="http://www.news4jax.com/news/Man-donating-100th-gallon-of-blood/-/475880/5402806/-/lh0522/-/" target="_hplink">News4ajax.com reports</a>. Since then, the coveted O-positive blood donor has given 100 gallons of blood and saved 2,000 lives. "I guess it's a cliché, but you know, it makes me feel good," Willis <a href="http://www.news4jax.com/news/Man-donating-100th-gallon-of-blood/-/475880/5402806/-/lh0522/-/" target="_hplink">told the news outlet.</a>

  • Paul Olsen, Donated 400 Times

    Paul Olsen, 79, donated his 400th pint of blood in August, according to <a href="http://mainlinemedianews.com/articles/2011/08/18/main_line_suburban_life/news/doc4e4b20f9daada376545870.txt?viewmode=fullstory" target="_hplink">Mainlinemedianews.com. </a> The Pennsylvania native donates platelets, which is key to helping cancer patients, and gives twice a month. "I really feel good [about giving] because it helps other people," Olsen told the news outlet. He hopes to ultimately hit his 500-pint goal.

  • Warren Krup, Donated 200 Times

    Honored with the "Golden Heart Award" from the Heartland Blood Centers for having donated blood 200 times, Warren Krup continues to give, despite a disability. "I get to sit and take a break, and it saves a life," the 52-year-old Illinois native told the <em><a href="http://couriernews.suntimes.com/news/9584873-418/elgin-mans-200th-blood-donation-gives-inspiration.html" target="_hplink">Courier News.</a></em> "Why wouldn't you want to do that?"

  • Sparkle, Donates Once A Month

    About 40 percent of dogs are universal donors, making Sparkle, a California-based rescue Greyhound, a critical lifesaver for pooches in need. "For every unit of blood that she gives, she will help at least two other dogs," Mary Beth Bartel, Sparkle's owner, <a href="http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?section=news/health/health_watch&id=8358508" target="_hplink">told ABC. </a> Sparkle donates once a month and her name is included on a 24-hour emergency call list.

  • Ralph "Rocco" Russo, Donated 300 Times

    When Ralph "Rocco" Russo hit his 300th donation at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, nurses honored him with a cake, <a href="http://www.thebostonchannel.com/health/30096787/detail.html#ixzz1iwIKvDg5" target="_hplink">the Boston Channel reports.</a> But, the true reward for Russo is knowing that he's helped save hundreds of lives, including Nicole Sorensen, who battled -- and overcame -- cancer when she was 14. "People will give once. People will give twice," Sorensen told the news outlet. "But to give 300 times every other week religiously is incredibly moving."

  • Barbara Brinkmann, Donating Since She Was 16

    Barbara Brinkmann has been donating blood since she was 16-years old, <a href="http://www.kens5.com/home/Blood-donor-drives-away-with-shiny-new-Toyota-Tundra-pickup-truck-136761323.html" target="_hplink">KENS5 reports </a>. "I do it on a regular basis and I enjoy doing it," <a href="http://www.kens5.com/home/Blood-donor-drives-away-with-shiny-new-Toyota-Tundra-pickup-truck-136761323.html" target="_hplink">Brinkmann told the news source</a>. "It's a wonderful way to give back to the community." For her generosity, the San Antonio, Texas resident was rewarded with a brand new 2012 Toyota Tundra pickup truck. Naturally, it's bright red.

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Filed by Eleanor Goldberg  |