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Supermodel Niki Taylor marked World Blood Donor Day on Tuesday by appealing to people to give blood and use social networking sites to raise awareness.

The cause is one that is close to her heart – she was involved in a serious car accident in 2001, and needed 100 units of blood to save her life. She has since become a ambassador for the American Red Cross.

“I can tell you first-hand that when you donate blood, you are literally giving the gift of live to some in need,” she told Marie Claire. "I feel especially connected to World Blood Donor Day as a celebration of those who donate and help save lives.

“Only about eight per cent of Americans that are eligible donate blood each year. Remember that all blood types are needed, especially type O negative because it can be used with all types of blood recipients.

“I encourage all women to get out there and donate, but it is equally as important to encourage others to donate and spread the word about the need for more blood donors. Women really influence their friends, so think about all the unique ways you can spread the word, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc.”

Read the full interview here.

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