Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
New Brunswick • Somerset

Three Generations Donate Blood

September 16, 2010
For Timothy Braden, donating blood used to be a solitary experience. Since 1974, Braden would come to Somerset Medical Center’s Blood Donor room every eight weeks. 

However, in February 2010, his once solitary experience became a family affair when he convinced his son-in-law Jim Bremer, 45, and grandson Jimmy Bremer, 16, both of Bound Brook, to donate with him.

“I felt like donating blood was just the right thing to do,” Braden, 65, of Bound Brook, a 12 gallon donor said. “I couldn’t donate my money but I could donate my time and help save lives in the process.”

“Donating with my father and grandfather has been a great experience,” Jimmy, a junior at Bound Brook High School, said. “It feels great to know that I’m helping a good cause. My grandfather and I also always get a kick out of watching my dad give blood because he’s afraid of needles.”

Despite initial fears of the needles, the Bremers have been donating blood at Somerset Medical Center with Braden for several months and plan to continue on a regular basis.
“Donating with my family has been very fun,” Jim said. “Once I get past the fear of the puncture, the donation is a breeze. The staff is very friendly and makes sure that you are comfortable. I will keep going as long as they will continue to take my blood.”
The need for blood is increasing much faster than the number of donors. Your donation of blood can minimize these shortages and help save the life of someone in need. Somerset Medical Center is one of only a few hospital-run programs of its kind in the state, and relies on the support of individuals and area service organizations to provide most of the blood used annually at the medical center.
"Reaching out to new donors is very important,” said Christina Leung, supervisor of the blood donor program at Somerset Medical Center. “The 16-17 year old population represents 8% of whole blood donations. The transition of grandfather, to father, to son is an important example for the younger generation."

To donate blood, you must be at least 16 years old and weigh 120 pounds. Those older than 16 must weigh at least 110 pounds and present valid signature identification. If you are under 18, you also need parental consent. For more information, call 908-685-2926, or visit somersetmedicalcenter.com.