GREAT FALLS — The Great Falls Ski Patrol and Showdown Ski Area Blood Drive hosted a blood-donation drive on Friday.
Red Cross representative Matt Ochsner was one of many people who donated blood during the event.
"We're seeing a pretty serious blood shortage across the country right now. We're going into the holiday season with about the lowest amount of blood nationwide that we've seen in the past ten years,” he said.
"A single donation can save up to three lives,” Ochsner explained.
Potentially saving a life wasn’t the only incentive to donate: "We're here for the Showdown ski tickets,” said Joy Ross as she donated blood.
Anyone who donated blood got a free ski lift ticket at Showdown.
Ross said she hadn't donated blood in a while and thought the blood drive was a perfect opportunity to get back in the habit of donating. "It's easy and you get to help people. Why not, you know?” Ross said.
The thought of a critical blood shortage concerns her: "I can only accept one type of blood, so it is a good motivating factor."
Ochsner explained, "The Red Cross serves about 30 hospitals and medical centers across Montana and we keep their shelves stocked. When that car crash victim comes through the door or someone might need platelets because they're undergoing cancer treatment, they depend on us and they depend on our donors. We really just want to say thank you to our donors."
Showdown Montana said in a Facebook post:
We will be dedicating this drive to Jamie Hoxter, the daughter of Showdown Mountain Manager Jim Hoxter. Jamie is being treated for breast cancer and everything seems to be going alright. Although Jamie is doing well with her treatments, many cancer patients need a blood component to replace red blood cells which the body is unable to produce during chemo. Blood donations really do save lives, the recipients are real people and blood only comes from the generosity of real people.
You can donate blood every 56 days and the process takes less than an hour. Click here to find blood donation opportunities near you.