By Dillon Thomas

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – During the COVID-19 pandemic donations of blood dropped, an issue which still hasn’t been fully resolved. At the same time donations historically drop during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday seasons.

In an effort to combat those shortages one woman in northern Colorado hosted a blood drive which was rooted from her own experience.

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Linda Maher’s life was nearly cut short six years ago after a car crash in Fort Collins.

“I was completely crushed from my shoulder down to my pelvis,” Maher told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas. “They told my family I was probably not going to survive this.”

Maher was t-boned in a crash which she was told was caused by careless driving by the person who hit her. She was rushed to a local hospital and needed more than 22 units of blood transfusions.

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Fortunately, for Maher, there was plenty of blood on hand when she needed it. But, lately the demand has been much greater.

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“Unfortunately the need is always there, but the demand is not always there,” Maher said.

Maher decided to start an annual blood drive in hope of addressing the need. Especially once the shortage started due to the pandemic.

On Monday Colorado State University men’s lacrosse players, Fort Collins police officers like officer Jason Lang and others from the community took time to donate blood in Maher’s honor.

“It is a perfect example of how donating a little, taking a little time out of your day, can help someone’s life dramatically,” said Malcom MacDonald, a CSU athlete who donated. “Such a simple thing to do to help out so many people that need it.”

“It can happen on the field, it can happen in car accidents, it can happen anywhere. So, having that readily available is very important to us,” said Ryan MacDonald, head coach of the lacrosse team.

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Maher hoped her story, and the actions of those who donated, would encourage others to step up during a time of need.

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“Accidents still happen, transfusions still need to be done. And, unfortunately with COVID, it really has depleted the amount of people donating,” Maher said. “It is something as simple as rolling up your sleeve and going in, Who else’s life you may be saving, you never know,”

Dillon Thomas