1 minute readBlood

Susan’s Story: How Donating Blood Saved Her Life

A blood donation is one of the greatest gifts that a person can give. It is a selfless act that can have a long-lasting impact on another person’s life.

Susan, a committed Red Cross blood donor, regularly donated blood to help save the lives of others. Following one of her routine blood donation appointments, she received a message from the Red Cross that would help save hers.

Susan’s Story:

Susan's Blood Donation Story

I came in and gave blood (like every 8-10 weeks). It seemed perfectly normal, and I felt perfectly normal. But, the day after my last donation, the Red Cross called me, and told me I should go to the doctor and have my blood tested. They told me that my white blood cell count was very high, and that it needed to be evaluated. I went to my family doctor, and then an oncologist/hematologist. They drew blood and finally drew bone marrow. I was diagnosed with Leukemia (CML) and this has been very difficult, but if the Red Cross hadn’t told me about my blood being abnormal, I would not have discovered this by myself. I had NO symptoms and it could have developed over a much longer period of time. I’ll never know how much of a difference that would have made, but I’m very grateful to have found it quickly, thanks to the Red Cross.

I won’t be able to give blood for a long time – if ever, but I have told this story to all of my students, colleagues, friends and family members. They all recognize how good it is to give blood – not only for victims who need blood, but for the blood donors themselves.


Visit RedCrossBlood.org to learn more about the blood donation process and to find a blood donation center near you.

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  1. Mr. Arjun Prasad Mainali has put tireless efforts in educating, advocating, encouraging, promoting and creating awareness among thousands of people about the importance of blood donation for human civilization. He has an impressive stand on the need for donating blood, and how much a common person can contribute to it and make a substantial difference. He is a strong believer of humanitarian services and has contributed immensely to establish a society that believes in social responsibility.

    Understanding the knowledge level gap, and stereotype related to blood donation, he embodied the leadership approach of presenting himself as a role model. To this point, he has donated 163 (whole blood 118 times and platelets 45) times during his 31 years of blood donation movement. This amounts to 80 liters of whole blood and platelets combined. According to Red Cross, one pint of blood can help save as many as three people. By this account, Mr. Mainali has helped save precious lives of as many as 483 people. He himself has donated (9.5 liters) whole blood 6 times and platelets 13 times in the year of 2014, which is exceptional.

    He has spent 5,650 minutes to draw his blood and platelets, which equals to bearing the needle on his arm for 94 hours and 12 minutes. He has spent around 1 thousand 5 hundred hours in blood drive camps with average of 5 hours per camp. Likewise, he is spending at least one hour daily on research, contacting people and motivating them for donating blood. In total, he has spent about 11 thousand 3 hundred hours in the last 30 years to create awareness on blood donation. He has spent 642 hours on traveling to donate blood. He has been awarding many individual and organizations who have actively helped donate blood.

    To institutionalize blood donation and campaign, he founded two national organizations (Blood Donors Association Nepal, Blood Donors of America) and one international organization (International Nepalese Blood Donors).

    Last but not the least, the finances for social activities expenses are entirely coming from his own income, loan from 401 K retirement plan, and personal loan from credit union. He has spent 80% of his salary for the last 31 years, 26 thousand USD loans from 401K and about 30 thousand USD from his credit card for sponsoring and encouraging blood donation programs in 14 countries. It is commendable that he is not making whole lot of money (his hourly rate is $15/hour at GEICO Insurance Company working in mail room) but is spending most of it in social causes. He believes we should contribute as much as we can to the needy people.

    He travelled to 14 countries of 6 continents and 14 states of United States for the sole purpose of donating blood along with local people. He organized more than 300 blood drive programs and motivated local communities of these 14 countries by personally donating blood in more than 100 of these programs. Due to his efforts more than 200,000 people are educated on the need and importance of blood donation, 30,000 people came to blood donation programs, and 15,000 of them donated blood. As a result people from well above 700 local community organizations were mobilized.