First Time Blood Donor Says More His Age Should Give


Jacob Decatur turned 16 on St. Patrick’s Day, but to him, it was a lucky day for a different reason.  He is now old enough to donate blood.

“I’ve been to the blood clinic a lot with my brothers, so it’s not as big of a deal for me as a lot of people’s first time,” says Jacob.

Jacob’s mom Kristin Decatur says she wants her four sons to consider giving the gift of life, as a part of their lives.

“My parents had always donated, so I grew up seeing them do it, and you’re helping others which is something important for me to teach the kids,” says Decatur.  “It’s rewarding and it makes me feel proud that they all want to do it.”

Jacob;s 20-year-old brother Justin also showed support for his little brother on Thursday.  Especially because his family has O-Negative blood, he feels a greater push to give.

“It makes us universal donors, and having that ability to help someone, it’s definitely an easy push,” says Justin.

Any person can receive O-Negative blood.

“It’s a bigger responsibility to donate because it makes more of a difference,” says Jacob.

The Red Cross of Northern New England says it needs to collect 700 pints of blood daily to serve Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.  It says that’s difficult when only 10% of people donate.

“Blood is a perishable product, so we always need donors, and to see a family as excited as the Decatur family, I wish I could clone them,” says Spokeswoman Mary Brant.

Brant says red blood cells have a shelf life of just 45 days, with platelets shelf life lasting only five days.  She says for every donation, up to three lives can be saved.  

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