National Blood Donor Month: A Heartfelt “Why” Behind Many Donations

blood donation, ImpactLife

Did you know a single blood donation can save three lives?

Deanna Fowler has donated blood since 2012 even though she doesn’t like needles – at all. Her “why” helps power her through the process of donating regularly for ImpactLife.

“My mom was re-diagnosed with breast cancer, and I wanted to help fill this huge need in the community,” said the learning facility coordinator for the Memorial Learning Center. “While I’m donating, I look away and remind myself of what I’m doing for others, which helps me get through it.”

She also appreciates that Memorial Health allows colleagues time to donate during their shifts at Memorial-sponsored drives. And never mind the needle stick!

“I think the ImpactLife staff are amazing at making you feel comfortable during the whole process,” she said. “They do a great job getting a vein the very first time with no issues.”

Did you know there are different types of blood donations?

  • Red blood cells go to people with blood disorders or those who have lost a large amount of blood due to trauma.
  • Whole blood goes to people undergoing surgery or who suffer from life-threatening injuries.
  • Platelets go to those with cancer, transplant patients or those who undergo open-heart surgery.
  • Plasma transfusions go to patients who have been severely burned or those with liver failure.

Meleah Berkowitz is another Memorial colleague who donates blood. The clinical informatics consultant has donated faithfully since she was in high school following her dad’s example as a frequent blood donor.

“I was very nervous about the needles at first,” Meleah admitted. “I always like to say that as a nurse, I prefer to stay far away from the sharp end. But I’ve found over the years that the team at the blood center are amazing sticks. They always find the vein first time, and they do everything they can to make you comfortable.”

Meleah has seen firsthand how a patient’s health improves drastically after receiving blood. Her grandfather has a health condition that requires regular blood transfusions, so she is grateful to every donor who helps because she knows personally how important the blood supply is for his health.

“I absolutely recommend giving blood donation a try in 2024,” she added. “It is easy to book an appointment, the nurses are excellent sticks, and it is a quick and easy way to support your community and our patients. Also, the cookies afterward are delicious!”

Want to learn more about donating? Visit ImpactLife for a schedule of current blood drives including ones hosted at Memorial Health sites of care.