Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood, according to the American Red Cross.
Wilson County residents Ed James and Karen Dedman recently reached milestones. Dedman hit the 10-gallon donation mark on her birthday in October. James hit the 13-gallon donation mark in December.
James and Dedman were quick to point out they aren't the only folks who have given significant amounts of blood to help others. The two are humbly sharing their stories in hopes that others will donate to the American Red Cross and make a difference.
James, who is Type O Positive, started donating blood in 1990.
"My dad, (the late) Malcom James, was in a car accident and needed abdominal surgery. He needed six pints of blood," James explained of his inspiration to give back. "I thought, I'm going to quit being the guy that says 'no' to donating blood and actually do it. There are a lot of people who have given more than we have."
Dedman is Type B Positive.
She dedicated her 10th pint of blood to her dad, former Wilson County Mayor Robert Dedman. Dedman was hospitalized and required a blood transfusion prior to her donation.
"Donating blood is the least I can do so someone can continue to enjoy life," she said.
Both agreed that donating is not an easy task - but one that is worthwhile.
"My arm turned black the first time I donated," James said, adding that it looked worse than it felt.
"It takes forever to reach these milestones," said Dedman. Adults have around 10 gallons of blood in their bodies. About one pint is given during a donation.
Blood donors can give every 56 days.
For more information on how or where to donate, visit www.redcross.org.