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Nine-year-old Helen Kraklow's life was saved by a blood donation. Save someone's life by donating blood for the BloodCenter of Wisconsin (PHOTO: BloodCenter of Wisconsin)

Help save a life by donating blood with the BloodCenter of Wisconsin

When Jim Flaherty made a blood donation nine years ago, he never imagined he would meet the person whose life he saved. Last week, BloodCenter of Wisconsin invited Jim to meet 9-year-old Helen Kraklow, whose life he saved with the gift of blood donation. According to Jim, making a difference in Kraklow's life made a huge difference in his.

Kraklow was born with a congenital heart defect and required three open heart surgeries and many units of blood to help her survive. Today, Kraklow is a happy, healthy fifth grader with a terrific prognosis.

Donating blood is an easy way to make a serious difference in your community. By becoming a blood donor, you choose to help save lives.

"People take it for granted that blood is always available, but it's not," said Helen's father Tom Kraklow. "I would encourage everyone to consider donating blood, because some day it could be their little girl or sister or mom or aunt or uncle."

Blood donations are historically low in the summer months and in response, the BloodCenter of Wisconsin is hosting a special blood drive at the Pettit National Ice Center, 500 S. 84th St in West Allis on Friday, July 29, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Appointments can be made by visiting or by calling (877) 232-4376.

Anyone who is in general good health and meets eligibility requirements is encouraged to donate blood. The entire process takes about an hour and all blood types are needed. Donors should bring a photo ID.


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