Be a Hero; Donate Blood!

Blackbird Brewery’s next Blood Drive is tomorrow from 3:00-8:00PM. Read on to learn why blood donation is an integral part of the brewery’s mission to create a safe place for the community.

September 24, 2017 is a day co-owners Harmony and Ian VanGundy will never forget. It’s the day their sweet Charlie was born. It’s also the day that Harmony almost died. Harmony VanGundy is here today for one reason: people in our community donated blood in the weeks before her emergency. Of course she had brilliant, quick-thinking, experienced surgeons who performed life-saving measures. But, plain and simple, she would not be here today if the hospital did not have the 27 units of blood required to save her life that day.

We all know blood donation saves lives, but September 25, 2017 will forever personalize the fact that BLOOD DONATION SAVES OUR NEIGHBORS’ LIVES. When we ask you to consider blood donation, we ask you to consider that your blood can save the life of your neighbor or the person sitting on the bar stool next to you. The fact is, we don’t know what will happen next. The only thing we do know is that you have the power to save a life through your willingness to donate blood.

Maternal Deaths on the Rise

Maternal deaths in the United States have increased 75% over the past 20 years. The leading causes of maternal death include severe bleeding, high blood pressure, infection, and complications from unsafe abortions. Harmony suffered from an Amniotic Fluid Embolism (AFE), a rare complication in childbirth that occurs in approximately 1 in 40,000 births. She and Charlie are part of the lucky few to survive with no permanent side effects. Though AFEs are spontaneous, the majority of maternal deaths are preventable with modern clinical knowledge and technology. Unfortunately, solutions are often less-accessible in low-income or low-resource communities.

What Can You Do?
  • Be a hero; donate blood! One of the main causes of maternal death is severe bleeding. You can literally save the life of someone in your community by donating blood.
  • Can’t donate tomorrow? The Blood Connection has a donation center on Glenwood Avenue that’s open 7 days a week for donors. Click here to learn more about Raleigh’s Community Blood Donation Center.
  • Become an advocate for blood donation. Donating blood is great, but convincing three others to donate blood is even better! Speak up in your community. Share Harmony’s story. Save even more lives!
  • Advocate for lower-income and low-resourced communities to have access to affordable women’s healthcare.

Life is just very, very fragile. I’m here today because people donated blood. If those donors weren’t out there, I wouldn’t be here today and he [Ian] would be sitting here telling a much different story.