Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) is hosting a blood drive to benefit patients at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. The drive will take place on Thursday, May 11 from 2:30- 7:30 p.m. at the hospital’s Steeplechase Cancer Center, 30 Rehill Ave., Somerville.

Bateman, a longtime blood and platelet donor, understands the importance of sharing. “There’s no substitute for blood, and patients need it urgently, and the only way these life-saving treatments are going to be available is when volunteers regularly give blood,” he said.

All donations collected through the drive will remain on campus to help patients.  Having the drive at the Steeplechase Cancer Center allows donors to understand where  much of the blood and blood products will be going to assist cancer patients.

Each donation has the potential to save two lives. Over more than 35 years, Senator Bateman has donated enough whole blood and platelets to save 100 people.  He invites the public to join him on May 11 to continue to help neighbors in need of this type of treatment.

“There is always a strong need for donors –  first timers as well as those who haven’t given in a while,” said Christia Keyte, supervisor, Blood Services, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset. “Only a small segment of the population donates blood, while millions more are eligible to give.”

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (or age 16 with parental consent), feel well at the time of donation, eat a good meal and drink plenty of fluid before donating and bring photo identification.

First-time and returning donors who have questions about whether health conditions, medications and travel would preclude them from donating should call Blood Services at 908-685-2926.

Appointments are encouraged and can be made online at