June 25, 2008
COLUMBUS, Ga. (WXTX)-- For many teenagers, their 16th birthday is filled with thoughts of getting their driver's license, first car, and having a big party.
But for Elizabeth Garrard, the first thing she wanted to do on her "Sweet 16" was give blood.
For her, it's a family tradition. Her parents have been donating blood and platelets for more than twenty years.
"I used to bring her in a rock-and-ride when she was an infant and I would put her on another chair while I would donate and all the staff would play with her," said her father, Spencer Garrard.
It's an FDA regulation that donors be at least 16 to give blood with their parents permission. Elizabeth wanted to do it as soon as she could, with her parents by her side.
"I figured today was a good day to do it since it was my birthday. I've never been afraid of needles so I was just like why not," she said.
"This was really important to her and I was really glad that the Red Cross helped make it a very special day for everybody and I'm really proud of her," said her mother, Cindy Garrard.
And Elizabeth's donation couldn't come at a better time. Officials with the Red Cross say they have less than a two-day supply of four blood types.
"We're trying to get in as many donors as we can because we're also leading up to the Fourth of July weekend and so many people are on the road traveling, the risk of accidents increase," said Lorie Frost, a Red Cross Donor Center Recruiter.
"It's just an easy way to give back to people," added Elizabeth.
If you ere interested in donating blood or platelets to the American Red Cross, the Columbus Donor Center is located on Veterans Parkway.