The American Red Cross of South Carolina received a new vehicle to add to their fleet Wednesday, as CEO Lou Kennedy of Nephron Pharmaceuticals donated a Dodge ProMaster 3500 to the organization. The vehicle will be used to collect and deliver life-saving blood across South Carolina. It will also later be used to bring supplies to disaster victims. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held on-site at Nephron Pharmaceuticals to make the donation official.

Kennedy, who is a Red Cross board member, said someone in the nation needs blood every two seconds. She said the vehicle will serve a vital role in delivering blood to hospital shelves across the state.

"It is the blood on the shelf that helps people in need," she said. "I'm honored to be a part of this board, and part of this committed effort to collect blood to help patients across the state. I am thrilled to be a part of this, and I'm glad we could help in this small way."

Red Cross of South Carolina CEO Rod Tolbert said it's really quite a big donation and they are thankful for the partnership with Nephron.

"Certainly having a vehicle like this in our fleet will help us have a more prepared hurricane season. We can also canteen and feed people off these vehicles," Tolbert said. She [Kennedy] is a great friend, she's a partner, and a patriot in the mission of the Red Cross and supporting our citizens and communities."

Brenda Green attended the event ad spoke to the crowd about why blood donations are so important. Her 15-year-old son has sickle cell disease, and has been in need of a transfusion that was critical to improve his health.

"That blood transfusion gave my son the relief he needed, and the time his body needed in order to recover from the illness. One of the most important life saving treatments can be a blood donation," Green said. "Because someone took that time to donate blood, I hugged my baby this morning."

The vehicle will be part of the biomedical service fleet for the first three-to-five years, then will be used to deliver disaster supplies.

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