My Mom always encouraged us to donate blood when we were old enough to do so. Blood donations saved her life at the age of 28 when she had open heart surgery after my brother was born. At the time, I was 12 and my sister was 9. We both regularly donate now and I think of my Mom and brother every time and of the countless others that benefit from donations. For more of this story, seach my name in the Stanford Blood Center blog.