Hank Pierwola works to save lives with blood drives - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Hank Pierwola works to save lives with blood drives

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WAKE FOREST, N.C. -

Hank Pierwola from Wake Forest has a lofty goal. His goal? To save lives.

"If you're A-positive, you can give platelets and you can give whole blood," said Pierwola.  "I run a blood drive four times a year.  I donate blood, whole blood and then I do platelet donations. I've also done what they call double red cells."

Pierwola explains that platelets take the longest.  "That's a two hour job," he said.

Hank also coordinates Knights of Columbus blood drives for the American Red Cross at his church.

"One of the Knights says, 'how would you like to help me with the blood drive?' and  I said, 'sure, why not?," said Pierwola.  "He said, 'how would you like to take it over?', I said, 'OK, I'll do it.'"

That was approximately eight years ago.  Most drives get about 32 pints of blood, Pierwola's drives more than double that, getting about 70 pints.

A representative from the American Red Cross says Pierwola goes above and beyond.

"They get donuts when they come to the blood drive; pizza and all kinds of special food he's cooking up himself in his kitchen," said Desiree Bolibaugh. "It's in his heart.  It's the right thing to do and you can't duplicate that.  You can't make that up or fake that."

Only eight percent of the population donates blood and 97 percent will need blood at some point in their lifetime.

Pierwola's next blood drive for the American Red Cross will be in Wake Forest, May 10 at St. Catherine of Siena Church from 2:30p.m.-7:30 p.m.

Sharon Tazewell

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