Dedication to saving lives runs in her blood!

April 15, 2016 at 12:11 pm

Colleen with her grandson and furry friends

Dedication to saving lives runs in Colleen Abrams’ blood:

My mother was a blood donor, and you just pick it up from the family.

When the Mountlake Terrace resident retired from her remote administrative position with University of Alaska Fairbanks three years ago, she was excited to have more time to focus on family and community service. She switched from donating whole blood to platelets, and has become one of our most dedicated and active volunteers – she worked 113 shifts in 2015, totaling 454 hours!

Colleen has scheduled volunteer shifts in Everett and Lynnwood, and fills in at North Seattle as well. She loves the positive people that come in to save lives.

This is one of the most worthwhile organizations to be a part of because of the positiveness of the people. The staff is absolutely marvelous – all the people you get to work with are, both professional and volunteers (including the donors). It’s something to look forward to each day.

She enjoys talking with donors and learning about the issues that matter to them – for example, a man recently talked with her about his son’s experience with autism.

She also enjoys the fun coincidences.

I have only had two people come in with birthdays on February 29th, and both of them came in during the same shift!

Colleen has seen firsthand the lifesaving power of donated blood – her brother-in-law has MDS (Myelodysplastic syndromes), a disease where the bone marrow stops producing red cells.

At one point he had to have four units of blood and one unit of platelets in one sitting. He was getting blood transfusions monthly.

When she’s not volunteering or donating platelets, Colleen feels blessed to regularly travel down to Portland to visit her new grandson, Silas, and go on walks with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy. She’s active in her church, and enjoys taking her trailer camping – it also gives her a place to stay in Portland when Silas’ other grandma visits at the same time!

She’ll have to miss a few of her BloodworksNW shifts in May when she heads to Haiti to hand out glasses at free medical clinics. It’s her third time going, and she’s found the experience rewarding and eye-opening.

BloodworksNW is grateful to have volunteers like Colleen who care so deeply about their local and global communities on our team.

Want to join the BloodworksNW volunteer team? Learn more at