The Prime Team is excited to announce our Second Annual Blood Drive. We invite you to join us on Wednesday, September 5 as the Memorial Blood Centers Bloodmobile returns for this life-saving event. Sara Biren, Prime’s Content and Social Media Manager, coordinates the drive. We wanted to learn more about why she started donating and setting up drives.
Prime Advertising: How long have you coordinated blood drives?
Sara Biren: My first drive with Memorial Blood Centers was in June of 2012 through a previous employer. I coordinated four drives there and have also co-coordinated drives at my church. Prime’s first drive was in August of 2017.
Prime: Had you donated blood before you began coordinating?
SB: No. I’d tried to donate once, during my junior year of college, but was deferred. For many years, I assumed that I’d face the same issue if I tried again. That may be true for some potential donors, depending on their situation, but it was not the case with me. I now donate as often as I can, usually three or four times a year.
Prime: What inspired you to start coordinating drives?
SB: My dad was a multi-gallon donor during his lifetime, so I was aware of the need for blood donation. However, it didn’t really hit home until the 10-year-old son of my good friend from college received a heart transplant. I’d lived near Jody and her husband Ben when I went to graduate school in Mankato. They were lifesavers during those busy, stressful years – for a night out at the movies, a home-cooked meal, or a walk around the neighborhood. I was thrilled for them when Ethan was born on a snowy February day, and I was one of the first lucky people who got to snuggle that little nugget at the hospital. Their lives changed forever when they learned that Ethan needed a new heart. He waited on the national transplant list for a year and a half.
I had “checked the box” for organ donation on my driver’s license renewal for many years, and ever since learning Ethan’s news, I’d encouraged friends and family to do so as well. It wasn’t until a few months after his transplant that I met Ann and Maggie, donor recruiters with MBC, and learned about the significant amount of blood that’s needed for organ transplants, cancer patients, accident and burn victims, and sickle cell patients. A typical heart transplant surgery requires 40 units of red blood cells, 30 units of platelets, and 25 units of plasma. Blood donors make that possible. A standard blood donation can save up to three lives. That’s incredible when you consider the short amount of time it takes for someone to roll up their sleeve and donate a pint of blood.
Ethan received his new heart in late October of 2011. Next week he starts his senior year of high school. Jody, Ben, Ethan, and his little brother Sam are some of the kindest, most loving, and strongest people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. Those months of waiting for a new heart, as well as the unbelievable challenges they’ve faced since the transplant, have made them even stronger. In coordinating blood drives and donating blood myself, I found a way to honor their journey and that amazing kid, plus help patients and families like theirs.
DID YOU KNOW?
- Because blood cannot be made synthetically, there is no substitute.
- About one in seven people entering a hospital will need blood.
- Every two seconds, someone needs blood.
- Approximately 41,000 units of blood are used each day in the US.
- Red blood cells can be stored under normal conditions for up to 42 days.
- About 7 percent of Minnesotans give blood, generously donating more than the national average of 5 percent.
- The demand for blood transfusions is growing faster than donations.
- Donors with O- blood, only 6-7 percent of people, are universal donors. Their blood can be given to people of all blood types.
Find these facts and other information about blood donation at the Memorial Blood Centers website.
The rarest blood type is the one not on the shelf when it’s needed by the patient.
SECOND ANNUAL PRIME ADVERTISING BLOOD DRIVE
Everyone is welcome to participate in the Prime Advertising Blood Drive. To schedule your life-saving donation, visit mbcherohub.club and enter Sponsor Code 4583 or call Sara Biren at 763.551.3716. Appointments are still available, and walk-ins are welcome. We hope to see you on Wednesday, September 5!