Blood banks across the country are experiencing a shortfall, yet the demand remains high.
Officials with the American Red Cross said they are down 50,000 pints of blood.
A Madison woman knows very well how important blood is because it saved her life, and now she's getting people to help others in need.
Two years ago, Colleen Kelly Alexander was run over by a truck and needed 78 pints of blood to survive.
"I was torn apart," said Alexander, who showed Eyewitness News her scars.
Because blood donations saved her life, Alexander said she wanted to help others, and it's not become her life's mission to get people to donate.
Gaylord Hospital hosted a blood drive Tuesday. It is also where Alexander spent two months in rehab.
She worked with the hospital to organize a 78-mile ride, which included stops at blood drives in Simsbury and Madison. The goal is to get 78 pints at each, because that's what Alexander needed to survive.
"I am very proud of her," said Alexander's husband, Sean Alexander, who also called her a strong woman.
Riding is not what it once was for Alexander, but she said she is thankful she can still do what she loves.
However, her recovery is not over, because she still has nine more surgeries left.
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