Blood donations solicited in advance of surgery for Father Joe

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Blood Bank Thursday asked for donations through the end of the month in honor of Father Joe Carroll, who will undergo surgery Feb. 1 due to complications with diabetes.

The president emeritus of Father Joe's Villages, which offers temporary housing and other services to the homeless, said he's using his own surgery to help raise donations for the blood bank.

“I’d hate to find out somebody died from the flu because of a shortage of blood – and Father Joe ‘got his.’ I’d like to see people give enough to cover me, cover everybody else who may need blood," the 77-year-old Carroll said.

The blood bank said donors can let staff know they're donating in support of Father Joe and encouraged potential donors to give before the end of the month. The blood bank will keep track of how many donors give blood in support of Father Joe until Feb. 14.

“When I raised money people used to say ‘he could squeeze blood out of a turnip.’ Now I’m trying to squeeze blood out of everybody in San Diego. Let’s get together – let’s donate blood," said Carroll.

Those wishing to donate must be at least 17 years old -- or 16, with parental consent -- weigh at least 114 pounds and be in general good health, according to the blood bank.

Donations can be made at the San Diego Blood Bank's permanent facilities in Escondido, El Cajon, Vista, Sabre Springs, Carmel Valley and Mount Hope near downtown San Diego.

Mobile blood banks will also make day-long appearances in Santee, Lakeside, El Cajon, Ocean Beach, Chula Vista, Pacific Beach, San Diego State University and the University of San Diego between Friday and the end of the month.

More information is available by visiting http://www.sandiegobloodbank.org or calling 1-800-469-7322.