Whidbey blood donor wins new car

Whidbey blood donor wins new car

Natasha Vanderlinden won a Bloodworks Northwest competition and her award arrived this year.

If you see a bright red Jeep Renegade cruising around Whidbey’s Island, chances are its driver is a lifesaver.

North Whidbey resident Natasha Vanderlinden won a new car last May in a Bloodworks Northwest contest, and her custom prize arrived this year. But for Vanderlinden, the real reward for donating blood is knowing that his donation can save lives.

Vanderlinden, an Oak Harbor Library employee, has been a regular blood donor for two decades. By the time she won the organization’s “Rev It Up” contest last year, she had donated with Bloodworks Northwest 34 times.

The Bloodworks Northwest team invited her to a Zoom meeting to announce their big win. She’d been automatically entered into the contest for donating blood, and even though she knew about the current draw, she didn’t expect to win.

Vanderlinden has never had a new car before. She chose a red Jeep Renegade, an outdoor vehicle to support her love of hiking and other hobbies.

“This one has the character of the adventure,” she said. “I liked that.”

Vanderlinden began donating blood shortly after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. In a Bloodworks podcast, she said she was inspired by how people came together to help those who were hurt or otherwise affected by the attacks. She remembers learning that thousands of people lined the streets to donate blood and decided she would start donating blood every September to commemorate the attacks and remember all those who did what she did. they could to help during this period.

Despite an overwhelming fear of needles, Vanderlinden has made blood donation a habit. In an interview, she said she now donates as often as her schedule allows.

Donating is more important than ever, she said, as the pandemic has caused a severe shortage of blood.

“It goes to children and cancer research centers and people who have had car accidents and all kinds of treatments,” she said. “It’s important because not everyone can do it. Many more people can do it than do it.

Bloodworks Northwest is a non-profit organization that supplies blood to hospitals in the Pacific Northwest.

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