"I'm not afraid of needles," Peyton Manning says proudly, as he donates blood.

I'm happy to say I have one thing in common with one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. Well, make it two. I'm not afraid of needles and I, too, am a blood donor.

The former Denver Broncos quarterback is donating blood to help promote blood donation at Children's Hospital Colorado, which has 16 locations in Colorado. But, Manning's message reaches all the way to western Colorado.

While most of us are doing our best to stay at home and doing our part to help stop the spread of COVID-19, the need for blood donations is just as great today as ever. While the list of activities we can't engage in right now is large, one item that is not on the forbidden list is blood donation.

St. Mary's Regional Blood Center in Grand Junction is still actively receiving blood donations, but the process is a little different right now. Instead of folks just walking in to donate blood, appointments are being made in an effort to keep distance between donors.

It's a simple process that takes less than an hour of your time - and it could be your blood that saves a life. To donate blood you need to be at least 16 years of age and in good general health. weigh at least 110 pounds, and be able to pass a physical and health history exam prior to donating.

If you would like to schedule an appointment or find out more about the blood donation process, you can call the blood center at 970- 298-2555. The sooner you do it, the sooner you can have something in common with Peyton Manning, just like me. It will be a great conversation starter if you ever get the chance to meet him.

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