Kurt Warner teams with Valley blood services to encourage donations

Dec 18, 2014, 6:08 AM | Updated: 6:25 am
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SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — This time of year is the toughest to maintain Arizona’s blood supply.

United Blood Services says it needs nearly 5,000 people to donate blood between Christmas Eve and Jan. 2.

It held a blood drive on Wednesday in Scottsdale and among those showing up to donate blood were former Arizona Cardinals quarterback Kurt Warner and his wife Brenda.

Warner explained why he decided to donate.

“There’s young kids and adults all across the country who get into situations where they need blood transfusions,” Warner said.

After he rolled up his sleeve and donated blood, Warner said that if he can do it, so can you.

“It takes 15 to 20 minutes of your time, and you can make a huge difference for a lot of people, like this little one right here.”

He’s talking about 14-year-old Hayley Elliott. The Pinnacle High School student was born with Diamond Blackfan Anemia, which is a rare disorder that prevented her body from producing red blood cells. She underwent 110 blood transfusions at Phoenix Children’s Hospital before she was able to receive a bone marrow transplant.

She’s doing OK now, but is encouraging you to donate blood to help others.

“There’s still a ton of kids who need blood,” Hayley said. “Some of them are just like me. They’re the future of tomorrow. One of them could be the next president, so we really want to help them out.”

Warner said that this is actually the perfect time of year to donate blood.

“This is the season of giving,” he said. “What better thing to give than to give someone a transfusion and maybe save a life.”

United Blood Services even has an incentive to get you to give blood between Dec. 24 and Jan. 2. If you donate, you’ll get a voucher for a free 14-inch cheese pizza from Streets of New York.

To make a donation appointment, call 1-877-UBS-HERO (10877-827-4376), or visit www.BloodHero.com.

While Warner was in the chair giving blood, jokes spread about his motive for getting a nurse to put a needle in his arm.

“Is this part of your physical for you (to come out of retirement) to get ready to play (for the Cardinals and against the Seattle Seahawks) on Sunday?”

Warner laughed and replied, “No this is not part of the physical. This is probably part of what they would do in a physical, but that is definitely not why I’m here.”

Oh well.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

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Kurt Warner teams with Valley blood services to encourage donations