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People Taking Action: Local woman honored for donating blood 55 times!

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Posted at 9:22 PM, Mar 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-16 21:22:43-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Coastal Community Church recently transformed its main area for members into a Red Cross blood drive, and that's where News 3 was able to surprise someone who could easily be dubbed a "super-donor."

Deb Sanderson gives consistently.

"I do; this is my 55th time!"

Yes, the day we caught up with her, it was her 55th time giving blood. She says she tries to donate five times a year.

Why? Because her blood type is O negative. That's a big deal. Just ask Sean Ryan, who's with the Red Cross and was helping with that blood drive.

"Those folks who have O negative blood, and they're only about 7.5% of the population who have O negative blood, they can donate their blood to everybody because all of us can receive O negative blood. That is a universal blood type," Ryan explained.

And because of that, Deb is very dedicated about donating.

"It just warms my heart that I can do this for somebody, for somebody else. I'm just so glad that I have O negative blood that I can help so many people!" she said.

For her dedication, News 3 presented Deb with a People Taking Action award, along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank. She was so appreciative.

Donna Brooks, Coastal Community Church's coordinator for the blood drive, says Deb is on a mission.

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"It's something she feels it's her duty to do because she has that O negative blood. It's her responsibility," Donna told us.

Which is so important now - in addition to the normal demand for this highly sought-after universal blood type, the pandemic has resulted in some blood drives being canceled, further adding to Deb's commitment because in Deb's words, "God put me on this earth to do everything I can to help people, and it is my duty!"

If you would more information about how you can become a donor, click here.

To nominate someone for a People Taking Action Award, click here.