By Kevin O’Neill
On Monday, a father and daughter teamed up to make a huge difference in people’s lives by donating platelets. What made this occasion special was that the daughter was making her very first platelet donation! Mariana Briskin, a junior at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, had previously donated whole blood a couple of times. However, growing up, she had accompanied her Dad, Dennis Briskin, innumerable times on his way to 400 donations. She explained her perspective: “To provide something, for which there is no substitute, to save lives at so little cost to oneself is truly amazing.”
Dennis shared that Mariana has been active as a volunteer over the years with Friendship Circle, providing assistance to developmentally disabled children. As soon as she saw an opportunity to sacrifice in a life-saving activity few people undertake, she seized the opportunity at age 16, the youngest age one may donate blood with parental consent.
Once approved to be a platelet donor, she was captivated by the opportunity to go beyond the six limit whole blood donation per year by donating platelets up to 24 times per year. She seems to have her sights set on surpassing Dad’s sterling record of 400. When asked what she would tell someone considering being a blood donor, she replied, “It’s quick, you barely feel it, just do it!”