Have you had your cholesterol checked lately? Until recently, I hadn't. When you donate blood at Grand Junction's St. Mary's Regional Blood Center or Bloodmobile during July, you'll get a free cholesterol screening.

Give the gift of life - give blood. It's quick, relatively painless, and it saves lives. During the month of July, your blood donation comes with this added perk. Move quick, though. This special opportunity is only available for another week.

If you haven't donated blood before, let me assure you, it's one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do. The average visit takes less than 30 minutes. You don't need an appointment. You simply show up at the St. Mary's Regional Blood Center at 750 Wellington Avenue, walk-in, tell them you would like to donate, and get to it.

The actual blood donation is a breeze. Putting the needle in your arm doesn't hurt a bit. Once the blood draw begins, you sit there squeezing this little "stress ball" thing about every ten seconds or so. Before you know it, you're done.

Now's a great time to donate. Not only will you save lives, but you'll also get a free cholesterol screening. The St. Mary's Regional Blood Center is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to noon. The offer of the free cholesterol check with your donation ends July 31.

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