Your Story - LifeSource



Stories from our donor community.

Do you have a personal story about how blood donation has touched your life? Maybe you once received an emergency blood transfusion. Maybe a loved one—a family member, friend or neighbor—has an illness that requires transfusions as part of their treatment. Maybe you realize just how important blood donation is and want to encourage others to donate, too. This is the place to do it.

Complete the submission form here and share your story! We will publish the story here on our page for other visitors to the page to see and find inspiration to support lives in our community.

Anna Hook Riley 


Early 2006 I was hospitalized as a high risk pregnancy. And mid to end of January 2006 our son, Ricky, had to come out via emergency c-section. He was 29 weeks but only 1 lb 6 oz at birth. He was in the NICU for almost 3 months and he had many health problems both during and after the NICU… but today he just turned 9 years old and he is doing *amazing*. Ricky received 12 of his 13 whole blood transfusions while in the NICU. A perfect stranger decided to donate their blood and because they did our sweet special boy is alive and here with us today. To that anonymous stranger: *THANK YOU* with all my heart but since my husband and I can’t say thank you directly, we pay it forward. I donate whole blood (or double reds if they need my blood type) and my husband donates platelets and we donate *regularly*. I set up my next whole blood donation the evening after my donation. If you are eligible to donate and you are healthy you are *blessed*. You have a gift you can give to save the life of a perfect stranger, and donate regularly because it’s the right thing to do.




Jessica Humbert

About 3 years ago I was in a bad car accident. I was headed to my cousin’s wedding. I never made it. I don’t remember anything from the accident, so we’re not sure exactly how it happened, but I ended up rolling the car and was ejected, we’re pretty sure I went through the windshield. I have a large scar on my arm from a gash that I got. I broke my pelvis in 8 places that required two surgeries to fix. I ruptured my spleen and had to have emergency surgery to remove it. From all my injuries, I went into hypovolemic shock. Receiving blood transfusions is a part of why I’m still alive today. I was a donor before my accident. I was going through nursing school and knew the good it could do. Now, I really know the good it does.



Jessica Reick


All the while I was pregnant with my son I often thought of all of the things that could go wrong with him. Not once did I think what could go wrong with myself. Little did I know, after I delivered a healthy baby boy, I was bleeding profusely and no one knew why until I was put into surgery and my wonderful doctors realized that my uterus had torn in half and I was bleeding from the inside out. If it weren’t for blood donations and the capability to do a blood transfusion, I would have never made it. I never realized how important it is to donate blood and now I do it as often as possible.

Samantha Ramirez


On Jan. 31, 2008, my daughter Kambreigh was born 12 weeks premature by emergency C-section. She weighed only 3lbs 12oz. She could not breath on her own, maintain her own temperature or feed. After a few days in the NICU, the doctors noticed she was becoming very pale and was having a hard time surviving. She needed a blood transfusion to help her body produce enough blood to maintain a healthy level. Within a week, she had received three bags of blood. I was a match to her blood type, so I did donate to help, but the first transfusion was emergency so thankfully a fellow donor had donated. If there weren’t people out there willing to save someone’s life, Kambreigh would not be here today. Thank you for all the donations!



Matthew, Father of Recipient

As I sit at Children’s Hospital with my two year old daughter as she receives another blood transfusion I am very thankful for all the donors out there. My daughter has beta thalassmia major and she receives blood transfusions every three weeks. A heart felt ‘Thank You’ from us to each donor.



Michaele Armstrong

As a young girl in Idaho, I remember going with my father when he gave blood and watching the process. At that time, my grandmother, a nursing assistant, had contracted hepatitis in the course of her work and needed regular blood transfusions. While my father was not a match for her, he and my uncles took a broader view of the importance of having a healthy blood supply readily available. The blood may not have gone to my grandmother, but it would go to someone else’s loved one. Many years have passed since I learned from my father how impactful an hour of time can be. My grandmother is no longer with us, but I continue to honor her memory by donating blood regularly.



Ryan Sauers

On October 5th, 1985, I was diagnosed with A.L.L., acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Doctors speculated the amputation of my right leg a result of the advanced stage of cancer and gave me a few months to live. I went into remission November 5th and have stayed in remission ever since. I had to fight hard for the first two years. With strong doses of chemo and radiation, I was in the hospital often, fighting extreme nausea, weight loss and bleeding. With the help of a great medical team, dozens (actually, countless) blood donations, my community and family, I fought the big fight and survived against the odds. I’ve made many friends along the way, having cancer in common. Not all made it to tell their stories. I’m learning now that it is my duty to tell their stories. It is my honor to do so. Even more so, having known them and realizing that they really never left. Their legacy lives on – in me.



Lorraine Brenner

I began donating in 1972 and had such a great experience I’ve been donating every chance I get ever since. That being said, in 42 eligible years, I have donated 140 times at LifeSource. What keeps me coming back is the hope that my donations are helping others in need of help. Up until 2001, my dad and I would donate together. The nurses would help us “race” to see who would finish giving a pint first by putting both needles in as close to the same time and keeping track of how long it took us. It is such a blessing to have had those fun moments with him – giving blood and knowing that we could be helping save so many lives each time we visited the donation office. It was always a cheerful event and the nurses knew us well – we had lots of laughter and nice conversations, not to mention yummy treats and beverages after. I’m so happy to be able to do something more that is also so meaningful to give back to the community in appreciation for the wonderful life I have. Thank you, LifeSource, for all that you do in the big job of saving lives.



Christine Cox

On June 30th, 2012, I was on a motorcycle trip to Door County when a young boy failed to stop at a stop sign and crashed into my left side. My injuries were extensive including a broken nose, six broken ribs—one of which pierced my aorta—a shattered left pelvis, shattered tibia, broken fibula, shattered ankle and two broken fingers. I was air-lifted to Aurora Bay Trauma Hospital in Green Bay, WI. I had my aorta resected and rods, screws and plates inserted into my pelvis, tibia, and fibula. My first night I flat-lined twice. I was given a total of 84 transfusions of platelets, whole blood, red cells, white cells and plasma and I spent over three months in five different hospitals. This was over a year and a half ago now. Never in my life, with  all the times I had donated blood, did I think I would ever need the products that I was given. Donating always felt good because I knew others needed this precious gift. Without all of what I received I would have died – THANK YOU!


Tina Baranowski

On April 5th, my family and friends gathered to make blood donations to LifeSource in honor of my nephew, Joe LaPointe, who suffers from a debilitating illness: CVID. Joe needs donations because he receives transfusions of immunoglobulin each week. Joe is one of my heros because he deals with sickness, weakness and pain with a sense of humor and a “never give up” attitude. It is an honor to be able to donate.
This is my third year donating and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the staff who aided me, my family and the wonderful people who came in to donate for Joe. The woman who stayed with me comforted me by providing ice packs, water, pretzels and encouraging words.
Thank you LifeSource for your compassion and the humor. You all were AWESOME!


David Ohanian

My sister battled Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma for 15 years. She tried hard to beat, but did not win. I can remember her always telling me that she needed platelets because that is what the cancer attacks. At the time she needed them I was not able to donate. She passed away in 2003. In 2004 I became eligible again to donate. I promised her I would make sure to give platelets for those like her who need them. I try to give once a month. I do this to honor her memory.


Laila Abdelmonem

Today, I donated blood to help save three lives. At my school, the LifeSource staff came to help our students donate blood. I was helped by the nicest nurse, Debbie, who really made my experience smooth and quick. Not only did I not feel the pain or the needle when I was stuck, she made sure I was comfortable and kept me occupied so that I wasn’t sitting bored donating blood. I highly recommend the experience and LifeSource as an organization! 

Toni Jernigan

On Saturday, March 21st, I donated Platelets for the first time. When donating Platelets it’s a two hours process. During the process my lips tingle and I felt out of sorts. So, after the donation was completed I was thinking, I don’t know if I could donate Platelets t again. Prior to my appointment I went to a store in my area. They couldn’t process my purchase because I had a $100 bill and they didn’t have change. I told the sales lady I would return after an appointment I had scheduled for 12 noon. After the donation I went back to the store to complete my purchase. So, I was talking to the sales lady explaining were I was and what I was doing. She told me she was a Platelet recipient and how difficult the process was for her. Affirmation! I will be back to donate Platelets in April.


Lisa Gallegos

 Hi, my name is Lisa. I have never been in a situation where I needed blood. I do not personally know anyone who has. And hope I never will. I am blessed to have the opportunity to help save a human life. Someone in need of something more precious than diamonds and gold, and all the jewels in the world. My blood! I have a record with LifeSource of 8 donations. That’s a total of 24 lives. Thats amazing! It’s amazing that someone like me can help save that many people. I have a goal of reaching 100 donations to help save 300 people. I am not a soldier, doctor, or saint but I know by donating blood I truly have a positive impact in the world and im making a difference. It is an honor and my pleasure to donate my blood through LifeSource’s convenient donation centers. And will educate my children on the importance of being dedicated donors when they become of age. Thank you life source for the opportunity to make a difference.  


Denise M. Massey RNC-OB, MSN

 My story does not involve me receiving a blood transfusion. I gave one that saved a life. I once was taking care of a woman who came into my hospital who had a ruptured uterus. She needed 31 units of blood to save her life and she happened to be my same blood type. Since then it was March 26, 2012. I have donated approximately every three months in honor of her and I know it will take a much longer time, but in about four more years, I can possibly make up for the amount we gave that night. It was a life-changing story and I hope it makes you donate blood if you can. Nurses are heroes, but so are those who donate blood! 



Daria M. Skilnik

 I wanted to share my story about my positive experience with Lifesource in Evanston, Illinois. While preparing for surgery I was told I needed to give blood in the event I needed it during surgery. My first experience with giving blood was at another Lifesource location which was not successful due my small veins in addition to me not being well hydrated. As I searched for the telephone number I reached the Evanston location and was reassured that Anne would be able to draw my blood. So my husband and I drove 50 miles the first week only to have a more than positive experience. I first met Brian who was so sweet. He worked on the administrative check in process of which there was some confusion. He handled me with compassion and professionalism. Anne the phlebotomist was professional but very reassuring, especially for a patient like me who was very ! nervous about the blood draw. She did a phenomenal job! Their manager of whom I met the following week was also very engaging. Thank you Lifesource! Your organization should be very proud of the folks at the Evanston location! They are truly appreciated.