November 08, 2012
I first donated blood in a drive at my high school in California, then didn't donate for many years. When I moved to Washington DC, there was a donor center near my workplace, and I donated blood. They told me about apheresis (donating platelets), so I tried it. They told me that my donation would save the life of a burn victim in another state. I was hooked. I started working as a consultant to American Red Cross to improve testing of blood products. There was a donor center right in the ARC HQ office, so I gave blood as often as I could. My ARC client told me that my platelets were CMV negative, and that my platelets were therefore valuable to the Red Cross and to the recipients. So I started donating platelets almost every time. It makes me feel good to be able to help save someone's life, and particularly someone who is very sick and needs platelets.