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City woman donates 10th gallon of blood

Lenora Golamis Georges, of Williamsport, estimates she has potentially saved over 240 lives in the last 40 years of being a faithful Red Cross blood donor.

“It is the nicest thing you can do for someone you do not know,” she said.

According to the Red Cross, one pint of blood can saves three lives.

Georges recently donated her 80th pint — her 10th gallon — of blood, a milestone she has met by giving blood regularly since she was 19 years old.

“I was so happy, I’m like a pro,” she said with a laugh.

Georges began donating blood when she was 19. She estimates she has donated about 80 times and has been turned away about 10 times for anemia.

“It’s like a mini physical, they check your blood pressure and iron levels.”

She was inspired by her mother, Patty Golamis, also a lifelong donor. Her mother was not only a blood donor, but a fan of the entire Red Cross organization. Golamis lived near Lycoming Creek Road, where she lost a basement wall during the flood of 1996.

“She just thought the Red Cross were angels,” Georges shared.

Georges was also inspired by newspaper articles where they would have a list of names and the number of gallons each person had donated. Years of donation have also given Lenora a few favorite places to donate.

“I’ve looked at a lot of ceilings when I’ve given blood,” said Georges.

She shared one of her favorite places is St. Luke’s Lutheran Church on Market Street.

“They have the most beautiful ceiling, it’s so pretty in there,” she said.

The Red Cross estimates 6.8 million people in the U.S. donate blood each year, but only 3% of age-eligible people donate blood yearly.

Georges has been a great ambassador for the Red Cross, convincing friends, fellow Bible study members and coworkers how important it is donate blood, she said.

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. It is essential for surgeries, cancer treatment, chronic illnesses and traumatic injuries, according to the Red Cross.

“You never know when the life you save might be your own,” said Lenora.

“Be brave, you can get through it,” Georges advised when asked what she would tell potential donors who are hesitant. “You don’t have to look, it doesn’t hurt that much…. but you know what? You feel alive when you are giving.”

The experience is spiritual in a way for Georges, she said.

“You feel all this flowing through you, how it helps all your organs. A couple of times I have felt it really strong — that feeling of life,” she said.

Georges’ goal is to give every 56 days, and she hopes to keep inspiring others to follow her example.

“If I can get one more person to give because of what I told you, that would make my day. Think of it — one more pint of blood could save three lives. That is just beautiful,” said Lenora.

To learn more about how and where to donate, visit www.redcrossblood.org

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