Red Cross Bloodmobile is 'lifesaver on wheels,' taking blood donations in Chicago area

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The Red Cross Bloodmobile is traveling the Chicago area, giving you the chance to roll up your sleeve and donate. It travels more than 14,000 miles every year.

"We're doing a good thing. We are helping people that are sick, talking to the community and going to different places," said Ashley Bibbs, phlebotomist.

Bibbs has been a phlebotomist for well over a decade. Everywhere she goes she hears the stories of why people want to roll up their sleeve to give the gift of life.

"A lot of times it hits them close to home," she said. "It's family members, or they went through something, or a grandchild. It's something they personally went through they didn't know how important blood donation was until it happened."

In the bloodmobile it's close quarters, but a quick process to help someone in need.

"Ultimately people want to donate they just don't have the time so when they see this it's a nice little flag," said Bibbs. "It usually takes 45 minutes to an hour but with our new system and new technology we get them in and out in roughly about 30 minutes."

Quick, easy and you never know whose life you could save.

"It could be your grandmother or your husband, a kid or a coworker. It could be someone you never met and you walk past them and a unit of your blood is running going through them so very important. Donating it could save anybody's life," Bibbs said.

During its lifespan, a single Bloodmobile will collect enough blood to help about 30,000 people. You have the chance to help save a life next week during the ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive.

The drive will be held on Jan. 15 and this year has expanded to four locations.

Click here for more information about the Great Chicago Blood Drive and how to make an appointment to donate.
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