The Key to This Friendship: 100 Blood Donations & Counting

May 18, 2017 at 4:36 pm

What makes donating blood even easier? Having someone with you every step of the way.

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Edie and Richard are longtime friends with something special in common: they have both donated 100 units of blood with Bloodworks Northwest.

The secret to their dedication? Each other!

Edie and Richard met at work and discovered they both liked to donate blood around lunchtime. When their jobs eventually took separate paths, they continued their dine-and-donate tradition.

“And that’s what we do now,” Edie said. “Every two months, we check back: ‘Hi, let’s give blood. Let’s eat lunch.”

Edie started donating as a college student in the early 70s, while Richard became familiar with blood drives during his time in the military. Today, they count Bloodworks Northwest staff and volunteers as old friends.

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According to Edie and Richard, the key to consistent donation is a great support system—and some healthy competition, too.

“I think you can be a lot more consistent if you have someone that’s depending on you to be there,” Edie said. Richard added— “especially if she’s two pints ahead of you.”

When asked why they keep donating blood, Edie and Richard reflected on every individual’s lifesaving potential.

“It makes a big difference in somebody’s life,” Edie said. “Here you can donate something that isn’t money and you just grow it back. It’s no harm, no foul—a real nice kind of a deal.”

“It’s a fairly painless way of being a good citizen,” Richard said. “And you get free cranberry juice.”

Commemorating their 100-unit milestone, Edie and Richard added two golden leaves to the Tree of Life display at the Bloodworks Central Seattle Donor Center. With this honor, they join an elite group of donors uniquely driven to help people in their community.

What’s next for Edie and Richard? The two friends vow to continue donating—after all, it’s not every day you can save a life on lunch break.

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Volunteers: A Lifesaving Link

February 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Kendra

Kendra was in and out of the hospital because of her sickle cell disease. She contracted meningitis three times, suffered a stroke, and was frequently in pain—all before she turned 13.

Her life changed after receiving her first blood transfusion. Today, more than two decades and many transfusions later, thousands of blood donors have given Kendra continued health and hope.

“When I receive transfusions, I think about the people who spent the time donating and what their story is,” says Kendra, who receives care from Bloodworks Northwest Patient Services department.

Volunteers play a vital role in connecting lifesaving blood with local patients in need. It takes 800 donors a day in the Northwest to roll up their sleeves, supported by more than 65 volunteers who give their time to support this essential process.

Motivated by her profound gratitude, Kendra began volunteering at the Bloodworks Federal Way Donor Center. As a donor monitor in the canteen, she cares for donors post-donation with juice, cookies, and conversation. Kendra also recently completed training that will prepare her to greet and register donors when they first arrive.

Most people never get to meet the fortunate recipient of their donations—Kendra is changing that with a warm greeting and smile for every donor she meets.

Keep incredible people like Kendra going. Schedule a visit to a donor center near you.

Blood Drives Work Miracles Near and Far

February 1, 2017 at 10:00 am

Q Center

Bloodworks serves patients in the Northwest, but we also answer emergency needs for blood from around the country. One such call came shortly after the devastating attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016.

The attack killed 49 people and injured more than 50. Bloodworks immediately sent 70 units to a blood center in Orlando, helping ensure that the wounded received the medical care they needed.

Moved by the tragedy in Florida and inspired by Bloodworks’ response, Portland-based Q Center—the largest LGBTQ community center in the Pacific Northwest—committed to replacing the 70 units sent to Orlando. Q Center partnered with Bloodworks to organize a blood drive just three days after the tragedy. Thanks to this drive and others that followed, Q Center registered 138 donors – far exceeding the group’s goal. Considering each donation has the potential to save three lives, Q Center’s blood drives could impact up to 414 people.

Bloodworks relies on community organizations like Q Center as well as businesses, schools, and places of worship to sponsor and host blood drives. Because blood drives are critical in ensuring adequate blood supply, we make it easy and convenient for people to donate, whether in our state-of-the-art bloodmobiles or in offices and community centers.

Is your organization interested in sponsoring a blood drive? We can help. Contact us for more information.

You don’t have to wait for tragedy to strike to save a life. Schedule your appointment to donate blood today.

College-Bound Students Are Saving Lives

February 1, 2017 at 8:00 am

Chantel

Here’s an interesting insight: high school students are among Bloodworks’ most active donors and blood drive organizers. In fact, high school blood drives account for about 17% of the local blood supply when school is in session.

To encourage high school students to get involved with blood donation, Bloodworks offers a scholarship program for college-bound high school seniors. These biannual scholarships reward students for organizing and hosting blood drives during winter and summer when the need for blood is the strongest. Students who recruit 50 donors earn a $500 tuition award; those who recruit 36 donors earn $400. Last year, the program resulted in 45 blood drives and the registration of more than 2,000 donors. Considering that each donation can save three lives, these student-led blood drives had the potential to help 6,000 patients.
Our program awarded $18,000 in scholarships. Scholarship recipient Chantel Young organized a blood drive in the summer of 2016 that brought in 50 donors—22 were first-time donors. Regarding her $500 scholarship, Chantel says, “I’m still pinching myself. I got to earn money and save lives at the same time.” This year, Bloodworks will continue to help the next generation of blood donors make a difference—while helping them achieve their college dreams, too.

You can stop pinching yourself—saving lives is as easy as giving blood. Schedule your appointment to donate today.

“Now it’s real:” Frank’s story

January 20, 2017 at 9:44 am

Frank-Shuman

Frank has been a regular donor for years in Vancouver, WA!

He started donating blood on the bus in downtown Vancouver, and then moved to our permanent Center when it opened in 2007.

It has always been an easy way to give back to his community but Frank shared with us that “now it’s real”: his daughter has been admitted to Legacy Emanuel Hospital in Portland.

She is carrying twin boys and is 24 weeks gestation diagnosed with placenta previa, a condition where the placenta covers the cervix and can cause severe bleeding.

Frank’s daughter has needed blood products, and will continue to need blood as she stays in the children’s portion of Legacy Emanuel-Randall Children’s Hospital to await the birth of her twins.

Frank said that the doctors at Emanuel are doing a wonderful job caring for his daughter and grandsons.

It is events like this that remind us all how important it is to have a safe, stable blood supply.

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