A Birthday Celebration to Remember

August 19, 2014 at 2:33 pm

By Kristin Stankus, Digital Community and Social Media Specialist

Debi Burdman-Deutsch has been donating blood for 40 years, since the age of 17. Her journey of donating started as a way to help her brother, who has been very ill her entire life. As the only blood type match in the family, Debi’s Debi with cakedonations provided the blood for many of her brother’s surgeries. This personal experience encouraged Debi to become a lifelong donor and this year she even chose to celebrate her birthday with Stanford Blood Center!

Debi’s birthday celebration had it all: cake, a card, friends, family, and the spirit of giving. “I wanted to do something meaningful. I have recently been surrounded by death, as I have lost three people very close to me. So for my birthday I wanted to give life.” Debi tells us.

Debi arranged her celebration as a Birthday Center Drive. She gathered up some of her closest friends and family members and arrived at the Mountain View center on Saturday, 8/16, ready to give.  One member of the group was Debi’s father, who has been donating for 65 years and has given over 10 gallons. Also present, Debi’s cousin who flew in from Portland for the special occasion.  Several more joined the party to support their friend and also the patients out there that may need to receive blood from SBC.  “Giving blood is such a simple thing I can do to help others.” Debi said. “It’s wonderful to celebrate your own life but to celebrate by giving life to others is so empowering!”

The experience is one Debi won’t soon forget. “I walked in and there was a big sign that said ‘Happy Birthday, Debi’. It was so nice! The staff greeted me very warmly and gave me a lovely card that almost brought a tear to me eye and the nurses were all so lovely, supportive, and funny” Debi said. After the group donated, they enjoyed a delicious cake, supplied by the blood center.  Debi commented, “The cake was huge. We couldn’t even finish it so I shared will all the other donors in the center.“

Debi is excited to spend her next birthday with Stanford Blood Center and we hope you will too. Contact our Birthday Center Drive Coordinator, Carolyn, at carolyn.tong@stanford.edu and your next birthday could make a difference in the lives of local patients.