SOMERVILLE, NJ  - State Sen. Christopher ""Kip" Bateman will host a blood drive at the Steeplechase Cancer Center at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital/Somerset Nov. 7 from 2-7 p.m. to help encourage others to donate blood.

New Jersey’s emergency blood supply is low, putting patients across the state at risk. Bateman will be donating plasma at around 2 p.m. 

Bateman has been donating blood since 1980 and will donate his 29th gallon at the blood drive. The event is open to the public and all donations collected will stay on campus to help local patients like Casey Cattell of Somerset.

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Cattell is a blood donor and recipient who received five liters of blood at RWJUH New Brunswick’s Emergency Department last October one week after giving birth due to internal bleeding. October 11  was the one-year anniversary of that incident, which she calls her “survival date.”

This year, Cattell spent her survival date donating blood at RWJUH/Somerset’s Blood Donor Room to give back and help save others’ lives. Cattell will be attending the Nov, 7 blood drive with her one-year-old son and mother to say a few words.

Appointments for donating blood and plasma are encouraged and can be made online at Blood donors must be at least 17-years-old, or age 16 with parental consent, feel well at the time of donation, drink plenty of fluids, eat a good meal before donating and bring photo identification.

First-time and returning donors who have questions about whether health conditions, medications and travel would preclude them from donating should call Blood Services at 908-685-2926.

The Steeplechase Cancer Center is located at 30 Rehill Ave.