Every day, thousands of dedicated American Red Cross professionals help collect lifesaving blood and platelets from generous volunteer donors. The Red Cross proudly joins AABB and Fenwal, Inc. to recognize and celebrate the important role of blood collectors in ensuring blood products are available for patients in need during the tenth annual Blood Collectors Week, September 7 – 13.
For Red Cross employees like phlebotomist Greta Cave, collecting blood is not just a job. The precious gift of blood is now part of her personal life. Thanks to generous donors like those who roll up a sleeve to give blood each day, Greta’s twin daughters are happy, healthy and thriving. Jillian and Juillian needed blood to survive when they were born two years ago. Greta says she always realized the types of patients who could benefit from blood, but she never imagined her own daughters would need it.
“I always knew my job was important, but until I had my girls I didn’t know how important it was,” said Greta. “I am grateful to all the donors. I owe my life to them. If it was not for them, my girls would not have had the blood that they needed to survive.”
The Red Cross provides about 40 percent of the nation’s blood supply, and approximately 15,000 pints of blood are needed by the organization on average each day. Whole blood, apheresis and double red cell collection staff members must collect these donations while meeting all Food and Drug Administrative rules and regulations to keep the blood supply as safe as possible.
The “gift of life” is more than just a phrase for Red Cross employee Auburn Reed. For her, it’s something that has now come full circle. Four years ago, Auburn decided to go to school to become a phlebotomist with the goal of working for the Red Cross. Little did she know, the Red Cross would help save her life after she was diagnosed with cervical cancer in March 2013. Auburn received platelets as part of her treatment and is now working in apheresis with the Red Cross.
“It’s a gift to me to know that I am performing the procedures that saved my own life and that I am helping someone, somewhere, just like me, thankful to be getting one more day,” said Auburn.
The Red Cross salutes its blood collectors nationwide who play an important role in helping patients in need. Please take time to thank these valued team members for their hard work and commitment to the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.