CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Great Chicago Blood Drive in January is approaching but the urge for donations to help fill the need is higher now than it has been in the last decade.
Now, blood recipients are stressing how important donors are, especially to those living with sickle cell.
"So, if I didn't get the blood transfusions and it was a situation where I really did need blood, there's a good chance I would die," said blood recipient Lyric Porter.
RELATED: Blood shortage worsening in Illinois, donations needed urgently, Red Cross says
Circumstances like that can change in the blink of an eye.
"I'm just concerned that we may just not get enough donors to meet the demand," said Raul Mora, manufacturing director with the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.
The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago said it's combatting the lowest blood supply levels it's seen in ten years and experts said the pandemic is largely to blame.
"It's hard to imagine not having enough blood on our shelves," Mora added.
RELATED: Red Cross sounds alarm on severe blood shortage made worse by pandemic
But that's where you come in.
"If you're a relatively healthy person- you don't need that extra blood. You have that to spare," said Gabrielle Troha, the parent of a blood recipient.
A blood donation could give hundreds of families across the Chicago area more time with the people the love.
"As healthy people, I think we take our own health for granted," added Maddie Raspe, who is also a parent of a blood recipient.
That's why health officials are stressing that your donation could help save lives.
RELATED: A single blood donation can save a life, recipient says
With the blood drive exactly 56 days away, which is the amount of time you must wait between blood donations, the American Red Cross is asking people to roll up their sleeves now so you can be ready to donate again at the beginning of the year.
The Great Chicago Blood Drive is scheduled for two days next year on January 12-13. You can sign up for an appointment with the Red Cross here.
However, if you'd like to give blood now, the Red Cross collects donations daily at their Chicago headquarters in the Illinois Medical District.