Making a Difference One Pint at a Time
There is no substitute for blood. Composed of red and white cells that support and maintain our body tissues and platelets that help blood clot when injuries occur, blood is critical to our overall health and the treatment of accident victims, people fighting cancer and surgery patients.
According to the American Red Cross, someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds. Although an estimated 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood at any given time, less than 10 percent of that eligible population do each year.
For nearly 20 years, Network Health employees continue to respond to the importance of blood donations by participating in multiple onsite donation events each year. Through a partnership with the Community Blood Center (CBC), an independent nonprofit providing a safe and reliable blood supply to hospitals in Northeast Wisconsin, Northern Wisconsin and upper Michigan, Network Health partners with the CBC each year to host multiple donation events through one of the CBC’s bloodmobiles. Over the past five years alone, Network Health employees donated nearly 750 pints of blood, potentially saving more than 2,225 lives.
At the recent March donation event, employees lined up to make a difference, including Cheryl Hansen who has donated blood for over 15 years. After her sister nearly lost her life due to blood loss after childbirth, Hansen and her husband became regular donors. Her latest donation at Network Health pushed her past the four-gallon milestone.
Other employees with a personal connection include Jenn Resch. Twelve years ago, Resch began overseeing the event as her son Isaac battled an autoimmune blood disorder. With blood draws every week, her son suffered from low platelets and had to be pulled from daycare as just playing with other children was potentially dangerous to him. Her son eventually went into remission, but the event changed Resch’s perception on the importance of blood donations.
“It was a huge wake-up call to me of just how precious blood is,” Resch said. “It goes unthought of when everything is great, but when it is not, it becomes your main thought.”
Subsequently in 2013, her father was diagnosed with lymphoma and endured several blood transfusions during his treatments. Unfortunately, he passed away in 2014. But to her, “helping with the coordination is something specific and concrete I can do to help,” Resch added.