Living a normal life, thanks to regular donors

December 13, 2010 at 3:18 pm

At least 15 blood donors are needed each week to keep Reid Morgan healthy.

By Reid Morgan

At 5 days old, Reid was diagnosed with hemophilia and referred to Puget Sound Blood Center. From infancy through adulthood, he has lived with the treatments, the physical limitations, the slow-clotting cuts and the more dangerous bruising and internal bleeding that all sever hemophiliacs endure. He’s also lived with pain. A slightly sprained ankle can bleed unchecked inside the joint capsule; it not only hurts, but it can lead to deformity and arthritis.

The Blood Center has helped Reid deal with it all. For over three decades, he and other Northwest patients have received both medical care and education about coping with bleeding disorders through the Blood Center’s hemophilia clinic and its annual camp retreat, Camp I-VY.

“Camp I-VY is invaluable,” he says. “It allows patient families to get together: parents talk to one another; kids talk to other hemophiliacs and find out that, despite all the blood products we receive, we’re really not that different.

“Without the Blood Center’s hemophilia program, I don’t know how my life would have turned out,” Reid says. Not as well, he reasons, without the care he received from hemophilia clinic co-founders Dr. Richard Counts and Dr. Art Thompson, who still runs the program.

“For me to have a ‘normal life,’ I need the protein from 45 pints of blood every week,” Reid explains. “That’s a lot of people donating to Puget Sound Blood Center and I’m really very appreciative. I really do have a normal life because of them.”

Schedule your own blood donation at a donor center.

Edited by Sean DeButts, Social Media Coordinator

I feel as if I am personally responsible for saving many lives every day.

November 30, 2010 at 2:03 pm

David Lazar, Blood Hero

By David Lazar

I’ve been giving blood all my life. This year, I switched to plasma at the request of the Blood Center. I’ve always believed that if by doing an act, I can help, and I don’t have a good reason not to do so, then it is my responsibility.

We’ve all seen the Blood Center’s signs stating, “Imagine Saving a Life.” While this is probably aimed at recruiting new blood donors, it makes me feel good whenever I see it. I feel as if I am personally responsible for saving not just a single life, but many lives every day. I find it easy to believe that many of my friends and neighbors who have been sick or injured have benefited from my donation – even if they did not receive the exact blood that I gave.

So why do I give blood? Perhaps it is the ability to help others in the community who are least able to help themselves. Perhaps it is the fact that this is a way I can ensure there is help for me if I ever need it. But the most compelling reason, to me, is that it is so easy – it requires no money, no more than an hour or two, and my body quickly regenerates whatever I give.

For all these reasons, I will continue to give, and I will continue telling my friends, my kids, and my workmates how good it makes me feel. To life!

Schedule your own blood donation at a donor center.

Edited by Sean DeButts, Social Media Coordinator

Dr. James P. AuBuchon Assumes Presidency of AABB

November 5, 2010 at 1:59 pm

Dr. AuBuchon became the AABB President in October, 2010.

In October, the Blood Center’s President and CEO, Dr. James P. AuBuchon, became President of AABB, an international, not-for-profit association representing individuals and institutions involved in the field of transfusion medicine and cellular therapies. AABB membership consists of almost 2,000 institutions and 8,000 individuals including physicians, nurses, scientists, researchers, administrators, medical technologists and other health care providers. Members are located in more than 80 countries.

Dr. AuBuchon has been an active member of AABB since 1981 where he chaired and sat on numerous committees. As President, he will work with the international Board of Directors to ensure resources are aligned to deliver on the organization’s strategic goals and that every voice is heard. Puget Sound Blood Center congratulates him on this distinguished accomplishment.

Congratulations, Dr. AuBuchon!

Read a Q&A between Dr. AuBuchon and AABB

A Wedding Anniversary Donation: The Family that Donates together Stays together.

October 25, 2010 at 7:45 am

Patrick and Michelle are celebrating their marriage in a very generous way on Oct. 25, 2010.

Today is our 8th wedding anniversary and my husband and I decided to donate together.

Through the years, Patrick and I have been pretty faithful in donating blood. Over time, we’ve had to reschedule donation appointments and rarely have we ended up donating on the same day. There have been times he’s had a cold or I’ve not had enough iron to donate. Nevertheless, we continue to come back every 56 days or so. We have both been touched by the need for blood donations; his mother received five transfusions when she was in the hospital battling lymphoma and I received two after suffering a miscarriage. My mother was also the recipient of a blood transfusion shortly before she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Long before we met, my husband started giving blood on a whim when the blood mobile was at Boeing in the 1990s. After that he did it every so often, but not on a regular basis. I had given blood on a whim as well in the late 1990s at Bellevue College. I was walking to an anthropology class I wasn’t too thrilled with and needed a good reason to not go. Why not give blood?

After we met, we started donating on a more regular basis. We both have type O Positive and if we happen to let more than a few weeks go by, we get friendly calls asking for a donation. When we have the universal blood type, it’s hard not to think of those people who need our blood. After seeing that so many people can benefit from our donation, we’ve decided to make it on a much more regular basis now.

Last Tuesday, I was set to give blood, but came down with a terrible cold and cough. When I called to change the appointment, I decided we needed to start donating together and why not start with our anniversary on October 25th? We have been through a lot with illness in our family and those times when our loved ones have needed blood, someone out there had been kind and generous enough to give so that my family and others had another chance at life.

Young Professional Ambassadors…Are You One?

October 21, 2010 at 11:30 am

By Beth Newman

Who are they? Maybe you. Young Professional Ambassadors (YPA) is an opportunity to learn about all that Puget Sound Blood Center is working on, share your knowledge with the community and become experienced in working with nonprofits.

Your time, money and energy are available to be spent on causes that are important to you. It is not always clear what those causes are. I was wondering how to give back after an accident left me fighting for my life. There were so many people and organizations that all pulled together to ensure my survival. Puget Sound Blood Center was a large piece of saving my life as their blood products were what gave my body time to heal from the life-saving surgeries that were performed.

I started donating blood when I was in high school after my mom signed a permission slip. I remember thinking that it was a simple case of it being the right thing to do, and I did it without much thought. Later as a nurse, I knew the importance of blood donations as I gave blood products to my patients and watched their lives improve.

Personally, I know the gift of the Blood Center as I received 100 components of blood after an accident. I am looking forward to the 3-year anniversary of my accident in the upcoming weeks. I needed a way to give back all that had been given to me. I had already been back donating blood one year after my accident. I needed to do more.

I have been working in the Development Office of the main branch of Puget Sound Blood Center for the past couple of months. I have been given a chance to speak to blood donors and financial contributors. I thank them personally for their gifts to the Blood Center on behalf of all of the people who will be helped by their donation.

A situation like mine does not need to be the catalyst for donating your time. As you find out all that the Blood Center does for our community, you realize that you will be helping your family members, neighbors and community as a whole. Your time and effort may not be visible to you as a member of this new volunteer committee, but I can tell you first hand that the people you help are eternally grateful as well as are their friends and family.

This is the time for you to use your talents and energy to make an incredible impact for so many people. Another benefit to YPA members should be listed as: Forever be a hero to countless patients and families whose lives are forever changed, helped and restored by your gift of time, money and energy.

Young Professional Ambassadors…are you one?

Check out the Young Professional Ambassadors of the Blood Center and review the objectives for more information on the program. The application can be found at: http://www.psbc.org/news_archive/ypa_application.pdf

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