Volunteers: A Lifesaving Link

February 1, 2017 at 2:00 pm


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.

Doubling the Odds for Beating Cancer

February 1, 2017 at 12:00 pm

Gina Grein

After six months of strange but explainable health occurrences—low energy, a leg bruise, discolored gums—Gina Grein went to her doctor.

She was immediately sent to the ER where she received four units of blood. A bone marrow biopsy confirmed the worst: Gina had acute myeloid leukemia (AML). The prognosis was grim—10 months to live with no treatment; a 39% chance of survival with standard chemotherapy.

After five months of chemo, Gina’s cancer went into remission, only to return a year later. Her care team at UW Medical Center recommended a progressive procedure: after head-to-toe radiation and transfusions, Gina received a double cord blood transplant donated by two generous moms.

Gina Grein

Success. Relief. Remission.

Twenty months later, Gina is slowly rebuilding her immune system, her energy is returning, and she’s excited to be back at work, if only for a few hours a week. Gina says she is grateful for her care team, the blood donors, and the parents of the now-toddler boys whose donated cord blood saved her life.

“I think about those donors every day,” Gina says. “I’m grateful more people are aware of cord blood donation. Without it I wouldn’t be alive.”

Bloodworks partners with 12 hospitals to collect cord blood stem cells used in cancer treatment.

Help rebuild a life. Schedule your appointment to donate blood today.

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


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 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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