DEAR ABBY: My grandfather is an amazing man. He served his country during World War II. He postponed his dreams to give his five children a better life. He and my grandmother sacrificed and saved so that their children would have the chance to go to college and emerge debt-free. He is the kindest and gentlest person I have ever known.
Last summer, at the age of 84, he almost died of a still undiagnosed blood disorder. What saved his life were multiple transfusions of donated blood. Since that time, he has returned to the hospital for further transfusions and is doing fine.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the people who gave their time and their blood so that my grandfather could live. Thank you for giving him the opportunity to meet and fall in love with his first great-grandchild. Thank you for giving Grandpa his 62nd wedding anniversary and his 85th birthday. Thank you for allowing his extended family to gather in celebration of Christmas. Thank you for every day that you have given our family the chance to absorb more of his wisdom.
Abby, please ask your readers to take the time to save a grandpa, a child, a stranger or a relative. Give blood. -- KRISTA L. THORNTON, NASHVILLE, TENN.
DEAR KRISTA: Thank you for your eloquent letter. A pint of blood is easy and painless to give, and it can literally mean the difference between life and death. Readers, if you won't do it for yourselves, consider doing it in the memory of a loved one who didn't make it.
Contact the nearest Red Cross Center by looking in your telephone book or asking the information operator, or call 1-888-256-6388 for the location of your nearest community-focused blood center.