March is Red Cross Month, which the American Red Cross has designated to recognize the individuals who make its lifesaving mission possible - individuals who turn compassion into action and help others in a time of crisis.
One of the vital services provided by the American Red Cross is supplying blood for patients in critical need of lifesaving transfusions. According to the organization, every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood and/or platelets. The American Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the country's blood supply, all from volunteers.
Unfortunately, our country is facing a blood shortage that is the worst in more than a decade due to blood drive cancelations and COVID-19 infection surges during the pandemic.
In honor of Red Cross Month, we're sharing blood donation stories from three of our team members. Read what they had to say below, and if you're inspired to consider making your own donation, you can learn more about the process and schedule an appointment here.
Kristin Seeger, Director, Talent Acquisition
What began as a special treat as a little girl has become a lifelong passion. It started by getting to tag along with my dad when he donated blood, which was something he'd done since his days in the Army. I absolutely adore my dad, and like anyone with siblings, I relished the opportunity for one-on-one time with him. Not to mention, the blood donation center always had cookies!
I’ve since continued this tradition on my own as an adult. Fortunately, I’m not afraid of needles and I have a prominent vein in my left arm that makes it easy for the nurses to find. I am fascinated watching the blood leave my arm and fill the bag. As someone who is constantly on the go, it’s actually a blessing to be required to lie down and relax for 10-15 minutes!
It’s so exciting to watch my “blood journey” on the blood donor app as it makes it way to its final destination. Most importantly, it makes me feel good to be helping others. And of course, I still enjoy the cookies!
Trevor O'Neill, Senior Accountant, Audit & Accounting
I started giving blood in my Junior year of high school. Admittedly, this was a master plan by most of my classmates to get out of class for the remainder of the day, but it ended up becoming something I truly believed in as a means to help those in need.
Over the years, getting to meet the different technicians and other volunteers at the donor centers has shown me just how many people share a similar mindset. It's incredible to think what such a short time commitment can do in the long run.
The other added benefit is the recovery period, where you get the perfect excuse to partake of the snacks that await after the donation is all wrapped up. Just saying, if you needed another reason to give blood, cookies ought to give you that extra level of motivation!
After leaving the center, the journey is just beginning. You get to track the progress of your donation right to the end result, when it is received by a patient in need. The full circle approach the American Red Cross takes to keep you informed further reinforces why I will always make time to donate blood.
Mary Ellen Harris, Chief Human Resources Officer
Giving blood saved my life!
In high school, I was the American Red Cross Blood Drive Captain. One day, while I was being screened, the lab tech indicated that I had failed the iron test and as a result was not able to donate blood that day. The tech recommended that I see my doctor to investigate.
As it turned out, that simple screening led to the discovery of a serious health condition that I needed to address. Through extensive testing, we learned that I have an autoimmune disease called Lupus. Lupus can be very serious if left untreated. Thankfully, the American Red Cross Blood drive served as an early detection mechanism and as a result I was able to treat the disease and live a healthy life!
Thank you to our team members for sharing their stories, and hopefully they've inspired you to learn more about the lifesaving opportunity to donate blood!
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