South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, World Blood Donor Day Recognize Donors' Lifesaving Gift: Theme of 'Thank You for Saving My Life' Resonates with San Antonio Woman

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Krystal Sanchez coordinated South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) drives for her San Antonio employer for three years, donating herself and getting coworkers to join her, and she never imagined she would be on the other side. But on June 14, she will have a special reason to mark World Blood Donor Day.

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Krystal Sanchez and her baby.

Every donation can save up to three lives. It’s important that people know the value of making regular donations, and spreading the word, too. Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center.

For three years, Krystal Sanchez coordinated South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) drives for her San Antonio employer, donating and encouraging colleagues to join her.

“I never thought I would become a patient who would need a blood transfusion,” she said.

But that changed earlier this year when Sanchez underwent an emergency cesarean section. Afterward, she felt so weak she could not hold her baby.

Because she had lost so much blood during her procedure, doctors ordered a transfusion. After receiving two units, she was able to cradle her newborn daughter in her arms for the first time.

“It was a blessing, since I got to see first-hand how important it is to donate,” said Sanchez, who received one of the 21 million transfusions performed every year in the United States, according to the American Association of Blood Banks.

On June 14, Sanchez and millions like her will mark World Blood Donor Day. The annual event, sponsored by the World Health Organization, thanks donors for an estimated 108 million gifts of life a year.

The theme of World Blood Donor Day 2015 is “Thank you for saving my life,” and it will be celebrated with events, promotions and seminars on every continent.

“The event serves to thank voluntary unpaid blood donors for their life-saving gifts of blood and to raise awareness of the need for regular blood donations to ensure quality, safety and availability of blood and blood products for patients in need,” according to the WHO website.

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center has joined a partnership with Nexcare Bandages to promote World Blood Donor Day. From June 14-20, STBTC donor centers and mobile blood drives will distribute a series of eight free, limited-edition “give” bandages.

World Blood Donor Day occurs at a time when collections at the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center naturally decline because of the summer break at schools. One-third of all STBTC collections come from drives at educational institutions, with 26 percent coming from high schools alone.

It also arrives in the wake of natural disasters that have stretched blood supplies thin across Texas.

In South Texas, donors of all blood types always are needed. The most critical needs are for donors with O positive and O negative blood, since O positive makes up the highest percentage of the population and O negative can be given to virtually any patient.

“Every donation can save up to three lives,” said Elizabeth Waltman, chief operating officer of the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center. “It’s important that people know the value of making regular donations, and spreading the word, too.”

Sanchez agreed.

“I encourage everyone I know to donate when they can,” she said. “You never know when you or someone you know will need blood.”

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About the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center: The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is a nonprofit community blood center providing blood, plasma, platelets and other blood components to 67 hospitals in 43 South Texas counties. STBTC has seven donor rooms in South Texas and conducts multiple mobile blood drives each week.

About BioBridge Global: BioBridge Global (BBG) is a San Antonio, Texas-based nonprofit corporation that offers diverse services through its subsidiaries – the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, QualTex Laboratories, GenCure and the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation. BBG provides products and services in blood resource management, cellular therapy, donated umbilical cord blood and human tissue as well as testing of blood, plasma and tissue products for clients in the United States and worldwide. BBG is rooted in the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center, which has a proud history of serving the South Texas region and beyond for more than 40 years. BBG is committed to supporting groundbreaking research, addressing unmet clinical needs and enabling the development and commercialization of novel biotechnology products. Visit us at http://www.biobridgeglobal.org.

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