Each year more than 4.5 million lives are saved by blood transfusions and while 50 percent of people in our community are eligible to donate, only 5 percent of the population give regularly.

Blood donations are always in high-demand. Blood is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment and traumatic injuries. Whether a patient receives whole blood, red cells, platelets or plasma, their life-saving care starts with one person making a donation.

The Blood Donor Center at MemorialCare’s Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital Long Beach recognizes Cabe Toyota for their generous, ongoing support.

Since 2009, Cabe Toyota has donated Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach tickets to the Blood Donor Center. Rewards given to blood donors, like the Toyota Grand Prix tickets, help the Blood Donor Center thank donors for giving life-saving blood and increase awareness of the importance of donating blood to the community.

This year, blood donors who visited the Blood Donor Center before Friday, April 13 were able to spin a prize wheel for a chance to win tickets to the 44th Annual Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. Blood donors were eligible for a pair of tickets to the event, while platelet donors were eligible for up to four tickets. The 44th annual Toyota Grand Prix was celebrated between Friday, April 13 and Sunday, April 15.

“Knowing that the Toyota Grand Prix tickets have helped Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s sustain our community’s blood supply and ultimately save patients that need blood is incredible,” says John Cabe, general manager, Cabe Toyota. “To see the act of giving come full circle over the years speaks to our growing partnership with our hospitals.”

One trauma patient or patient in need of a massive blood transfusion may need approximately 130 units of blood and at least eight platelet donors to have enough life-saving blood products. Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s receive more than 1,600 trauma patients annually and transfused more than 17,000 blood products last year.

“A decision to donate blood can save a life, or even several if your blood is separated into its components — red cells, platelets and plasma,” says Emanuel T. Ferro, M.D., medical director, clinical pathology, Blood Bank. “Our blood comes from caring donors who don’t realize that they are our local heroes. Being able to return the favor with rewards, like the Toyota Grand Prix tickets, is a nice gesture and the least we can do for those who donate the gift of life.”

Blood donation is a community effort. Regardless of what motivates a donor to walk into the Blood Donor Center — one donation can save up to three lives. The need for blood will always exist. At Long Beach Medical Center and Miller Children’s & Women’s, it’s important to recognize the giving spirit of our blood donors in any way possible.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to donate, please call 562.933.0808 or visit our section on Blood Donation.