Donor Stories

Diaries of a Platelet Donor

In 1989, I was the victim of a serious motorcycle accident. My left leg and hip were seriously injured – I suffered from a broken hip socket, compound fractures of my tibia and fibula, and other issues. I spent a miserable month in the hospital before having to learn to walk again. Through all of…

Why I Love to Roll Up My Sleeves

By Bruce Anderson, guest blogger When I first started giving blood, I was terrified of needles and syringes and would become light-headed at the mere suggestion of them. But I had grown up in a small town where the community blood drive made the front page of the local paper, which listed every donor and paid…

Two Strangers Bound Together By Be The Match

Justin joined the Be the Match registry approximately 13 years ago while attending the Stanford Medicine Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) Reunion. His decision to join was a simple one, as cancer has been a significant theme in his life, and his choice that day led to Justin saving a life several years later. The Other…

An Accident, a Life Saved, a Calling: Why One Man Donates Blood

By Ben Ballard, donor The overwhelming feeling of gratitude hits me at times when I stop to ponder it, yet one thing remains constant: she is alive and thriving. It is almost unbelievable to me that April 2015 will mark 20 years since I nearly lost one of my older sisters in a car accident. Nearly…

A Birthday Celebration to Honor a Daughter’s Memory

Today we bring you the story of one of our donors, Aly. Her journey of love, loss and perseverance led Aly to become a donor with Stanford Blood Center (SBC). Aly donated blood for the first time when she was 17, hoping to be able to help others with the gift of this precious resource….

Tony

My donation story starts from when I was very young. My grandmother was a severe hemophiliac. I was used to seeing her in the hospital getting blood transfusions. Once I became an adult, I realized the best way I could memorialize her was to start giving back to others by donating blood. I was given…

Susan

I started donating when my cousin’s wife was diagnosed with leukemia. In the face of this tragic disease, she not only thought of herself, but of others as well. She kept family and friends informed of her progress and treatments, and never missed an opportunity to ask us to donate blood and register as organ…

Sandra

Today is my 99th whole blood donation. My husband and I started donating about 19 years ago as one of our first dates. We had been dating about 3 months, and my son’s elementary school was having a blood drive (Stanford), and we decided to make our first donation together. Since that time, we have…

Pati

My first donation was in 1977 at a mobile blood drive at my company. My girlfriend encouraged me, as she was a regular donor. I, among many others at work, didn’t really see the need and was apprehensive to give blood. But after I read about the stories of people’s lives being saved, it was…

Mike

When I was 17, I was in a skiing accident that left me in a coma and requiring immediate brain surgery to remove a blood clot from my left frontal lobe. I owe my life to the paramedics and brain surgeon and hospital staff, and generous blood donors who ensured the hospital and medical staff…

Maeve

I give blood because I can! My first donation was on Valentine’s Day years ago and I was anxious, scared and excited. 35 donations later, it has become a part of my normal routine. I am lucky that I am able to donate and I like knowing that I am helping someone in need. Thank…

Lori

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…

Linda

We give because so many others can’t and blood can’t be manufactured. Giving blood saves lives! It’s groovy to give! Give at your earliest convenience. Linda 9-29-14

John

I was introduced to donating blood back in college during an on-campus blood drive. I remember feeling then, as I do now, that such a simple act could have such a meaningful impact on someone else in need, perhaps at a traumatic point in their life. What a gift that any healthy person can give…

John

Paulina’s life began in Stanford, Lucille Packard’s NICU. She was there until Christmas Eve and came home after 3 months. She received so many transfusions, FFP and other products, we all lost count! Now her heart needs healing and again Stanford helps us give to her and reach out. Thank you for giving her life-giving…

Jay

When I was born, I had an unusual blood component called “Little C.” The doctors were concerned and decided I needed a full blood transfusion. As a universal donor, it’s difficult to be a recipient but, fortunately, my father had the same blood type and was my donor. I think it is important to donate…

Janice

As a flight attendant with United for over 40 years — I started flying during the 70s, which was at the height of the AIDS epidemic — I lost so many friends who were flight attendants! I wished that I could do something to help the world, and I saw someone driving with a bumper…

Jill

At Daly, we all waited for the day when we got to go to the smelly, cramped wrestling gym to donate blood. It was as much a rite of passage as getting your driver’s license. From there, I progressed to staffing the blood drive my senior year, then to Welch Road to the big times…

Greg

After a courageous 8-year battle against [non-Hodgkin’s] lymphoma, my father, 65, succumbed to MDS, a blood disease for which there was no treatment in 2001. I learned about and began donating platelets when he was diagnosed, and continue to donate today to help others battle and to keep his memory alive.

Emileigh

I started donating blood at the Leigh High School blood drive! The nurse who helped me told me facts about how many people need blood to survive! I felt so good knowing that I was saving lives by simply donating blood!! I’ve been donating as much as possible since. If that’s not enough motive, THERE’S…

Catherine

In 2013 I had hip replacement surgery and my doctor had me donate 3 units of blood for my own use during surgery. It was then that I learned about donating platelets and that my blood type and blood were perfect for platelet donation to help people with compromised immunities. I have been giving platelets…

Recognizing Donor Milestones

By Jennifer Chang Have you ever seen a donor wearing a fancy Stanford Blood Center T-shirt with shiny gold or silver foil lettering? We give out lots of shirts here at SBC, but these are ordered in pretty small quantities. They are reserved for our Precious Mettle donors, a special club for those who have…

Amy

Blood drive…Saratoga High

R. H.

Both my children were preemies and required blood transfusions (special preemie blood) from the Stanford Blood Bank. I think of this when I give blood. I am always grateful to those who gave and to the Stanford Blood Bank. Today, both of my children are healthy — one graduated from college, the other is on her…

Allyson

It doesn’t hurt! It really helps! Donate blood!

Celeste

I donate blood to make others healthy and have the blood they need so they can have a wonderful life ahead. I love the clinic at Menlo Park. It is such a nice place to donate & the staff and volunteers are all very nice. I look forward to my next appointment! Have a great…

101 and Counting

By John Knapp When General Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier, was asked about so many people asking him to autograph copies of his autobiography, he said, “Being a military guy, I’m part of their property. They paid for my life and achievements with their taxes. You have to look at…

Father & Daughter: Lifesaving Heroes

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…

Committed to our cause

By Julie Peachey Judy Lasky recently happened upon our bloodmobile parked outside a YMCA and was thrilled to see Stanford Blood Center in her neighborhood again. She had been a committed blood donor at a community drive we held in Willow Glen a few years back. Always excited to visit the bloodmobile when it showed…

Remembering Micah’s Smiles: How one mama has learned to live after kissing her 11 month old baby goodbye

  By Jennifer Canvasser When I married my best friend, Noah, we were young, healthy, and so excited to start a family together. We expected our family building journey to be simple. But, we struggled with infertility. I was jealous of my friends who got pregnant without even trying. I desperately wanted to have my…

In lieu of gifts, donors ask for donations

By Julie Peachey Several years ago we introduced the idea of Center drives for small groups of friends who donate together at our Center locations. An alternative to hosting a larger, off-site blood drive, these groups (typically 5-10 people) are a great way to support patients in need while building a sense of community with each…

#WhyIGiveBlood – So I can give to others what was given to me

By Mario Escudero There is one specific reason I give blood. Six years ago my father, Frank Escudero, was diagnosed with renal cancer. After a partial removal of his lower kidney, he continued to suffer from other symptoms of the disease. A year of biopsies proved that the cancer had spread and he was going to need…

I Am

I woke up one Tuesday and knew it was going to be a crappy day. I asked my daughter to get herself ready for school and wake me when it was time for me to drive her there. I e-mailed my personal trainer and cancelled my first appointment to launch a workout routine. Even showering felt like too much effort.

Gold-Blooded Family

When Randy Helmonds, wife Lisa, and their two teenage boys donate blood, they take an unconventional approach. Why sit quietly in the donor chair when it can be so much more exciting? “Creating a friendly, competitive environment is a fun direction to go,” shares Randy who wants blood donation to be something his family looks forward to.

Liquid Life

For as long as I can remember, my dad would come home every couple of months with a pint of ice cream and a bright red bandage around his arm. I was always happy to see the ice cream, as well as my dad, of course. But it wasn’t until I was older that I found out why he got the ice cream. As both he and Baskin-Robbins like to call it, it was “A Pint for A Pint”. For every pint of blood that my dad donated, he would receive a Baskin Robbins coupon for a pint of ice cream in return.

A Letter to Blood Donors

I am an active 43 year old woman with a strong love for life. I am living with terminal breast cancer and acute leukemia (AML). As a result, I am transfusion dependent and now receive blood and platelets on a weekly basis.

Blood Drive Birthday Bash

At a blood donor recognition event last year, Janet Silberman, a 150-time donor, sat in the audience and listened to Larry Frederick, a retired police officer, thank each and every individual in the room for saving his life. Many years earlier, he experienced a life-threatening event that required immediate blood transfusions. His story could have been terribly tragic. But instead, the blood was available and it saved his life. He now rides his bicycle across the country setting up blood drives and personally thanking the donors.

Grateful Recipient

By Dimone Gabler, recipient of blood products & champion of blood donors

I thought people who received blood either had surgery, a transfusion for a particular condition, or had been in a serious accident. I found out there are other reasons one might need blood. A few years ago, I thought I had a bad flu bug. After two to three days of not being able to keep anything down, my husband insisted I go to the doctor. I was so weak I was barely able to stand. After the doctor’s examination, he sent me to the emergency room at Good Samaritan Hospital.

Donating Blood Gives Life… And Hope

I looked at the date of my last plasma/platelet donation: March 7, 2011. It was August now I realized and as I blinked at the date, it seemed impossible to remember what life was like just those few short months ago – there seemed to be such a gaping hole in reality and time. Within weeks of that donation in March, my Mom and I, together with the love of her life Alec, would celebrate her 60th birthday in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit waiting for her operation to repair a heart valve and to replace 2 artificial ones.

Father & Daughter Bonded by Blood Donation

My name is Gary Davis and I would like to share my experiences donating blood with my daughter Katie.

Inspired By the 9/11 Tragedy: A Young Blood Donor’s Journey to 200 Donations

Daniel Paepcke first started giving blood in January, 2003. Eight and a half years and 199 donations later, Daniel paid his regular visit to the Campus Center and made his 200th donation. Quite an accomplishment for the young man who at age 27, is one of our youngest donors to reach this milestone.

The Power of Two

Hello Stanford Blood Center donors and friends! My name is Isabel Stenzel Byrnes and I’m a social worker and health educator, currently working for the Lucile Packard Pediatric Weight Control Program. I have a twin sister named Anabel, who is a genetic counselor at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital. We’d like to share our personal story with you in this blog.

The Buddy System

On Dec. 29, 2010, Linda Johnson became the first woman to make 500 donations at Stanford Blood Center. It was more than 20 years ago when Linda’s friend and Stanford Blood Center platelet donor, Stan Jensen, urged her to check if she would make a good platelet donor. Linda was a perfect candidate with good veins and a high platelet count.

Weekend Engineering: Blood Donation

Small Fears and Big Deals

By Dr. Duff Howell, 277-time blood donor and counting One of my finer enduring gifts was a conversation about donating blood that I had 15 or 20 years ago. I’d said, “I never look when they put the needle in. I’ve always hated needles, freaks me out, can’t watch, better to look away.” My buddy…

Become a Blood Donor

  Guest post by Susan Ipaktchian, originally published on Scope, Stanford University School of Medicine’s blog. Do you know your blood type? I was surprised when many of my friends and family members said they didn’t know theirs. But here’s an easy way to find out and also do a little good work at the…

Is This My Ministry?

Below, blood donor Amy Zucker Morgenstern writes about why she began giving blood, some struggles she’s experienced along the way, and how she’ll insist on continuing despite these obstacles. According to the Stanford Blood Center, I’m a gallon donor. But they’re just being nice. They mean I’ve had over eight appointments. I think only about…

Give Yourself Away

The following piece by blood donor Kathy Harris is something she voluntarily wrote following her very first blood donation. Please be sure to share it with your friends who are not yet blood donors as a bit of encouragement to give it a try. Can you believe it’s already been (more than) 56 days since…

Celebrate: Donate!

By Julie Ruel, Social Media Manager, Stanford Blood Center Each morning, David Polnaszek gets up, changes into his Stanford Blood Center (SBC) hoodie, something he earned upon his tenth donation last year, and takes an hour-long walk around his neighborhood. Now that he’s retired from Microsoft, he has more time to devote to his passions…

Inspiration

  We had the pleasure of working with the friendly folks at Micro-Documentaries on some short videos featuring a few very special blood recipients. Below is a piece written by Noah Stout from Micro-Docs about his experiences in filming the Stanford Blood Center Series. One function of Micro-Documentaries is to depict stories that will move…

Stepping Up to the Plate(let)

When long-time apheresis donor Dawn Chuck was unable to continue giving platelets, she made it a personal goal to recruit as many platelet donors as it would take to make up for losing her… and then some! Dawn (above, second from left) also belongs to family of three generations of blood donors, featured in this…

I’m a Survivor!

Below are some reflections by Larry Frederick, a retired Oakland Police officer, who was in a near-fatal accident in 1982. Since his recovery, he has done four cross country tours on his bicycle to raise awareness of the need for blood donations. He shared his story at one of our recent events and before meeting…