COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Wednesday is World Blood Donor Day. We’ve been in the middle of a blood shortage for a while now, and it’s important to remember how crucial blood donation is to save lives.
Local woman Danielle Wilson has sickle cell anemia. Instead of having normal blood cells shaped like a circle, hers are shaped like a banana or a sickle.
This causes her to have pain throughout her body and an increased risk of stroke. To treat her sickle cell, Wilson receives seven to eight units of blood at Wexner Medical Center every four weeks.
“I have medi-ports which pulls my sickle cells out, separates them and then gives me back whatever healthy cells I have and then I get all of the whole blood through the other needle,” says Wilson. On World Blood Donor Day, Wilson and doctors at Wexner Medical Center want people to know just how vital blood is for patients.
“It’s needed every single day and you can’t manufacture it outside the body. Blood cannot be manufactured, and it can only be stored for a limited amount of time, so we need constant supply. We need people to come out and donate,” says Dr. Irmeen Siddiqui, a physician at Wexner.
Wexner Medical Center gets most of its blood from Versiti Blood Center of Ohio. All the blood donated at Versiti goes to hospitals in central Ohio. “It’s really important that the folks coming out to donate know that it’s going to their loved ones, their family, their friends, their neighbors right here in the 614,” says Brian Bautista, the chief operating officer for Versiti.
Without blood donation, Wilson says her life would be much more painful and risky. She says she is grateful to share her story and raise awareness on World Blood Donor Day. “You never know who’s helping you,” says Wilson. “I just always feel appreciative of those 7 to 8 units and however many people that’s from that they were able to take time out of their day to do that.”