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Date: May 31, 2013

George Economas
George Economas, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s senior director of corporate security, began donating blood in 1981, when his sister was battling breast cancer and receiving transfusions during treatment. But when he learned that his blood type made him a universal donor—meaning that it could be accepted by anyone—he started donating regularly. “I hate needles,” he says, “but I do it anyway; it gives me an emotional boost every time, knowing that my blood is being used to save lives.”

At some point in your life, you will probably need a blood transfusion. But blood supplies are entirely dependent on human donations, which are at an all-time low. In hopes of inspiring staff and visitors to change the status quo, the Johns Hopkins Blood Drive Committee has launched a “hero” campaign for The Johns Hopkins Hospital. Posters and plasma screens feature regular blood donors wearing superhero capes, and include a blurb on why they give blood. Among the heroes is George Economas, Johns Hopkins Medicine’s senior director of corporate security, pictured above. Even if you can’t give blood, bringing in first-time donors or volunteering your time can make a difference. By fulfilling the Hopkins Hero Pledge to donate or volunteer, you can extend life—and be honored at the inaugural caping ceremony, during which blood drive supporters will be given a Johns Hopkins customized hero cape, this fall. Watch for details in the coming months. The next drive is June 11 in Turner Concourse, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. For an appointment, call 410-614-0913 or email Walk-ins are welcome.

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