Who You’re Helping
Carol and Faith Schulte
Carol Schulte was first diagnosed with leukemia in 2009. After entering remission, Carol and her husband Matthew decided to have their first child. Twenty- six weeks into her pregnancy, Carol’s leukemia returned. The couple made the decision to move forward with chemotherapy treatments while Carol was pregnant. Throughout the process, both Carol and the baby received blood transfusions. Upon delivery of baby Faith, Carol began needing emergency transfusions of both platelets and whole blood, ultimately using 50 units of each. She also received a stem cell transplant. Without these lifesaving donations, Carol would have had an emergency C-section and may not have survived.
Baby Faith was born seven weeks premature and weighed only four pounds and four ounces. After several days in the NICU, Faith was released to her healthy mother. Carol is thankful for the hundreds of blood donors that kept her and baby Faith alive.
Isaiah Newsome is a teenager who has been battling sickle cell anemia since the age of three. Sickle cell anemia creates crescent-shaped cells in his blood that cause traffic jams in his vessels, starving his organs of oxygen and causing excruciating pain. To manage the disease, Isaiah receives a blood transfusion every three weeks to replace his misshapen cells. Through it all, Isaiah has found strength in his family, his faith, his creativity, and, most of all, the blood generously donated by blood donors. It takes seven to nine units each transfusion – 120 units to 150 units a year – to keep healthy blood cells flowing in Isaiah’s veins.
Isaiah spent many years looking for a bone marrow match so he can receive the transplant he needs. In June, Isaiah found the match and plans to receive the transplant in August. He and his family will live in Minnesota for three months after the surgery.
Isaiah and his family have been giving back to LifeServe by organizing blood drives and helping us recruit African American donors, so that Isaiah and other sickle cell patients have a higher probability of finding matching donors in our donor base.
“I’m thankful for everyone who donates, because I know how it has saved my life on several occasions and it helps me to have a better life. Please donate blood or encourage people in your life to donate blood. Blood donors save lives and help people with chronic illness have a better life.”
Following what seemed to be a normal delivery of her first child, Traci developed complications and began hemorrhaging post-delivery. A significant loss of blood and an alarmingly low hemoglobin count required Traci to receive 15 units of blood and 12 units of plasma.
Thanks to generous blood donors, Traci is able to enjoy life with her husband and daughter, Hannah.
“I wish I could personally thank and hug each of those who donated the blood that saved my life. I’m alive today because more than 30 people volunteered their time to donate and save the life of a total stranger. I’m forever grateful to those blood donors.”
Lt. Col. Jerry Self
In 2008, Lt. Col. Jerry Self thought he had come down with the flu. After finding himself unable to get out of bed for three days, he visited his doctor and learned the shocking truth: Jerry had leukemia.
Five grueling rounds of chemo took its toll on Jerry, but it was the lifesaving blood transfusions that helped him stay strong so he could keep fighting the devastating disease.
“The chemotherapy for me was very taxing. I had a lot of weight loss, lost all my hair, was very tired, and had a lot of side effects associated with the chemo.”
During his battle toward health, Jerry received more than 40 units of blood, and felt healthier and more energized after each transfusion. Thanks to generous blood donors, today Jerry is cancer free, and is able to spend time doing what he loves best: spending time with his family.
Carson was an energetic 8-year-old nearing the end of the second grade when he found a bump under his chin. After multiple trips to the pediatrician, several examinations, antibiotics, and blood tests, Carson was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.
During his fight, Carson received multiple chemotherapy and radiation treatments and several blood and platelet transfusions to help replenish his system so he could continue his fight. Today, Carson is in remission and doing extremely well thanks to the treatment and lifesaving blood transfusions he received.
Blood Donor Stories
Blood Center’s Top Gallon Donor
Paul Menzel › 126 Gallon Donor
What else can you do that allows you to give life to another person? This simple question is what motivates Paul Menzel to be an aphaeresis platelet donor. “I believe in the importance of giving blood and helping others,” says Paul.
As a committed donor, Paul donates platelets every two weeks. Paul knows that his selfless gift helps someone in his community. Paul’s commitment to blood donation has led him to become the top gallon milestone donor in LifeServe Blood Center’s collection area where he personally helps hundreds of hospital patients each and every year.
Blood Donor Story
Dan Wright › 29 Gallon Donor
Dan began his blood donation career like many other donors, giving whole blood once or twice a year. But the more he donated and learned about the importance of giving blood, the more he felt the need to help. “Donating blood is easy for me to do and I know that there are so many people who I can help, it just seems like the right thing to do,” says Dan.
Dan is now an apheresis platelet donor and donates every month. In fact, it was through his frequent blood donations that he met his wife! Their motto has become “save lives and make a love connection!”
Donating Blood to Help Others in Need
Howard Berkenbosch › 86 Gallon Donor
Blood donors share a common commitment, the desire to help someone in need. Howard’s commitment to saving lives is evident by the number of gallons of blood he has donated throughout his lifetime. His donations provide the gift of life to someone he will probably never meet. “You just never know if you’ll be the one to need blood at some point in time. I’ve been fortunate to be healthy and able to donate and I just believe it is the right thing to do to help others.”
Donor Understand Importance of Blood Donations
Kathy Denny › 52 Gallon Donor
Lifetime donors, like Kathy Denny, share a strong belief in community service, personal responsibility and the importance of helping others. Kathy’s commitment to blood donation began as an act of honor and memory of her late brother who died three short months after being diagnosed with leukemia as a teenager. Kathy saw the need and importance of donated blood during her brother’s illness and has continued her lifelong habit of giving blood by donating whole blood and/or platelets on a regular basis.