Thursday, April 18, 2019
Natalie and Bill Divyak of Tomah were among 54 people to donate blood during a BloodCenter drive at Tomah Memorial Hospital Jan. 25.

Couple appreciates giving back

Bill and Natalie Divyak appreciate that they can support their community by simply donating blood.

The Tomah couple was among 54 people to donate during a BloodCenter of Wisconsin drive at Tomah Memorial Hospital Jan. 25.

“It’s a mindset,” explained Bill. “Some people are afraid of needles; some people think it’s too much time. You basically have to say, ‘this is what I want to do …this is how I’m going to help or be part of a community.’”

“I guess I see it as being part of my citizenship,” said Natalie. “It’s a service to others, and an easy service to others.”

The Divyak’s have been donating blood for more than 40 years, including the last 15 years at BloodCenter events.

BloodCenter is the sole supplier of blood to 57 hospitals in Wisconsin including Tomah Memorial.

“You never know how life goes,” said Bill. “You may need blood, and if you can help someone it can come around and help you.”

“I like to know where it’s going and that it is staying in this area,” added Natalie. “It’s not painful and it’s an easy way to give back to the community.”

Despite the cold weather, officials praised donors for a great turnout Friday that resulted in 55 units of blood that will help to save up to 162 lives.

“Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months and January in particular can be a difficult month for blood donations since supplies often run low when needed most,” said hospital marketing and public relations director Eric Prise. He said BloodCenter of Wisconsin strives to see 800 donors a day, six days a week, to collect the blood needed by patients in the hospitals with which they collaborate, like Tomah Memorial.

Friday’s drive was one of five scheduled BloodCenter drives at Tomah Memorial. Prise said the next drive will be held March 22.

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