ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Diagnosed at the age of 47 with breast cancer, Frances Baker isn’t new to donating blood. As one of the founders of the Dia De Los Muertos’ Blood Drive, hosted by Hendricks Health and Telemundo Abilene, she said being diagnosed more than 15 years ago made her realize how donating blood saves lives.

“Being able to donate blood is a blessing. You’re able to share your good health with someone who’s in need of a blood transfusion or a platelet transfusion,” Baker encouraged. “When your body is healthy, you rebuild that blood or rebuild those platelets in a matter of weeks.”

Baker said she got to see, first hand, how much cancer patients rely on blood donations. She said when going through treatment, it’s important to get treatment on time. But for some, this isn’t always possible

“Sometimes, if your blood counts are too low or your platelet count is too low, then you have to wait. It’s like you’re on a time clock and anytime that time clock stops, you feel like you’re getting behind instead of moving forward,” explained Baker.

Urging the next generation of blood donors, Baker said to be aware that the drive’s one-pint donation has the potential to save up to three patients. Overjoyed that the Dia De Los Muertos blood drive is a yearly tradition and seeing the number of participants increase over the years.

The annual Dia De Los Muertos Blood Drive will be held at the Abilene Eye Institute – located at 2120 Antilley Road – from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 28.