WATERTOWN (CBS) – Dozens of people came to Watertown High School on Saturday to donate blood for the second annual Watertown Strong Blood Drive hosted by the The American Red Cross and Mount Auburn Hospital.

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Among the crowd was Boston Marathon survivor Heather Abbott and MBTA Transit Police Officer Dic Donohue.

Both donated their own blood side-by-side.

“What the Red Cross and Mount Auburn are doing is so important and I really didn’t realize how important until I needed it myself,” Abbott said.

Heather lost part of her limb in the explosion.

On Saturday, Heather got around much better with her prosthetic leg. She’s given blood before but now it takes on a whole new meaning.

“I think when you are in a situation where you really do need it and meet people who would’ve died without it, it takes on a different meaning,” Abbott said.

Two years ago Donahue was shot in the leg and severely injured in the shootout days following the Boston Marathon bombings. It was Mount Auburn Hospital and The Red Cross that  provided more than 40 units of blood so he could live.

Now, he’s giving back for the first time to help save someone else.

“It’s come full circle. I went from being in such great need for blood donation then give back to someone else who may have the need hopefully not as great as mine,” Donahue said.

“Trauma patients like Officer Donohue are just one example why it’s so important to donate blood or platelets. It’s the blood on the shelves that helps save lives before, during and after a tragedy or disaster,” the American Red Cross said.

For more information on the event or to find out how to donate blood, visit the American Red Cross website.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Kim Tunnicliffe reports:

Paul Burton

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