COLUMBUS -- When sixteen-year-old Eden Jackson's six-year-old sister was diagnosed with Leukemia and required two blood transfusions, Eden quickly realized the importance of donating.
"It really opened my eyes to people so close to home who could need blood," Eden Jackson said.
As an employee at the assisted living facility Meridian Gardens, Eden took the inspiration as a chance to make a change with a blood drive. Her father was one of the first to sign up.
"I'm here to donate blood, I haven't done it in a long time but my daughter received several units after her leukemia diagnosis and it made me realize I better start doing it again," said Jesse Jackson.
And the need for blood donations in Columbus is growing exponentially.
"Post covid, surgeries that got delayed -- they're not able to do them because of the blood shortage. And with people traveling, there's more accidents," Senior Living Counselor Miki Naylor said.
Kyle Jansen from the Red Cross says nationwide, we're seeing a blood shortage. The problem is so large, some hospitals are being forced to delay treatments.
"As far as Columbus, there's always a constant need [...] They say about 75,000 units more have been needed in past three months than expected. There's definitely an emergency need," said Jansen, American Red Cross account manager. He said each donation makes a difference, and with a shortage that's only getting worse, blood drives are proving to be vital.
The shortage is expected to rise with accidents over the holiday weekend.
Find donation sites here: https://www.redcross.org/give-blood.html