Man Meets His Blood Donors - KFYRTV.COM - Bismarck, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Man Meets His Blood Donors

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Every two seconds, someone in the United States needs a blood donation. However, it's not every day that one of them gets to thank the donors for saving their life. Today, a man got that chance.

"You just don't realize what lives you touch, you know, when you donate blood," says blood donor Linda Peterson.

Vince Ulstad needed 55 units of blood after a head-on collision in 2009 that left him without his sight, and nearly took his life. Now 4 years later, he finally was able to meet and thank nine out of the 55 men and women who donated the blood that saved his life.

"The very reason that I can still be here and enjoy life, and I am enjoying life in many ways that I never thought possible to the extent that I am. Because of those people that chose to give blood, donate their life, literally, so that someone unknown to them, in my case I turned out to be the beneficiary of that, would have a chance at continued life," says blood recipient Vince Ulstad.

And one of Ulstad's donors says she never thought about who receives her donation, and being able to meet the recipient makes the donation process all the more special.

"I don't donate necessarily think about who's gonna get it or what's happening, so that was pretty incredible to meet somebody who wouldn't be here with us today because of it," says blood donor Alison Schlag.

Even out-of-towners make the time to take a trip to Bismarck and donate their blood.

"I usually keep myself on an eight-week schedule and come down here, come down to Bismarck, to donate blood. I'm from Wilton, but I drive to Bismarck-that way you can keep on a schedule because they don't come to the small towns that often," Peterson adds.

It's not everyday blood donors and their recipients have a chance to meet, but for Ulstad and his nine quiet heroes, this was a once in a lifetime experience.

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