Stories from our donor community.
How has blood donation touched your life? Maybe you 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.
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Kaden Seigel, Recipient
Kaden weighed just 1 pound, 12 ounces at birth and almost immediately needed a transfusion of O-negative red blood cells to help the flow of oxygen throughout his body, his mother Kelsi said. He also needed a platelet transfusion. Read more.
Lisa D’Angelo, Blood Donor
Lisa will always fondly remember the first time she gave blood back in March of 1975. And that’s a good thing because she would be hard-pressed to forget even if she wanted. Lisa’s maiden donation, which occurred during a blood drive at Highland Park High School, happened to be prominently featured in a photo spread that appeared in the Highland Park News. Read more.
George Arvanitis, Blood Donor
Give an assist to the Chicago Blackhawks for helping George Arvanitis join the ranks of the blood donors. The 30-year-old McHenry resident had long contemplated donating blood, but it was not until a LifeSource promotion with the Chicago Blackhawks that George rolled up his sleeve and became a blood donor. Read more.
Stephanie Arnold, Recipient and Blood Donor
During the birth of her son Jacob, Stephanie suffered an amniotic fluid embolism (AFE). It’s a rare but serious complication that occurs when amniotic cells get into a mother’s bloodstream and cause anaphylactic shock. Fortunately, Jacob was delivered without any issues. But seconds later, Stephanie died – for 37 seconds. Because of the generosity of blood donors, Stephanie survived, and she donates today to continue to pay it forward. Read more.
Shakara Gross, Donor
and Javon Gross, Recipient
Javon, who was born with Sickle Cell Disease, spends about 100 days a year in the hospital. For the past three years, Javon has received monthly blood transfusions at UIC Medical Center to keep the disease in check. His mother, Shakara has been a blood donor since her days while attending Fremd High School in Palatine. Shakara is active in raising awareness for SCD and encourages people to donate blood as often as possible. Read more.
George Blinick, Blood Donor
The reason George began donating blood in 1945 and the reasons why he continues to give the gift of life more than 70 years later could not be more different. As an 18-year-old taking part in boot camp at the Naval Station Great Lakes, George recalled rolling up his sleeve and giving a pint of blood every two months for a very self-serving reason. Now George, who just celebrated his 90th birthday in February, said he donates to “help others”. Read more.
Kristin Belmonte, Recipient and Blood Donor
There were no warning signs or causes for concern. Things could not have been going any smoother for Kristin as her second pregnancy neared full term. That all changed once she went into labor. Within five minutes, Kristin began having seizures and started hemorrhaging. “I ended up needing 26 blood transfusions before all was said and done,” Kristin said. “I was bleeding out faster than they could put blood in me.” After this experience, Kirstin began donating blood and organizing drives. Read more.
Keith Wilson, Blood Donor
Thirty-five years and 45 blood donations later, Keith can confidently make a guarantee. “I’ll remain committed to performing this service throughout my life,” the 53-year-old said. It’s a good thing to do. It’s an easy way to help others.” Read more.
Kristina Edgeworth, Recipient and Platelet Donor
Anyone – regardless of age or health – may require a blood transfusion at any moment. Kristina is case in point of that. The hair stylist from Chicago was fit and active with no previous medical issues as she and husband Kevin were preparing to welcome their first child. But 15 minutes after giving birth to daughter Violet, Kristina was whisked out of the birthing room by doctors. She received 13 units of blood and platelets before being released from the hospital. Kristina and her husband are regular platelet donors at the Evanston donor center. Read more.
Loucinda Davis, Recipient
On March 15, 2016, Loucinda got devastating news. “You have breast cancer,” the doctor told me. Read more.