A Donor's Story: Colleen
Colleen Wilson clearly remembers when she decided to become a blood donor. Conversing with her surgical colleagues at Mayo Clinic one day, they pondered: "What if every staff member here at Mayo would donate blood? Then we wouldn’t have to buy any!" This discussion stirred within Colleen the thought to give donating a try because she saw the need for it firsthand.
"I remember how easy it was to just take my break and go down to donate. It really took no time at all," Colleen reflects. Donating whole blood for her first 100 donations, she then learned about the platelet program. Although it would require a little more of her time, when she found out how frequently she could donate platelets, she was hooked. "I think of those patients who are going through chemo and cancer treatments, and this is such a small thing that I am doing. It is so easy to help others," she says.
At each gallon milestone, donors receive a commemorative pin signifying their total contribution to Mayo Clinic’s blood supply. When Colleen was getting ready to retire from Mayo, she mentioned to her granddaughter, Elisabeth, that she wasn’t sure what to do with all of her blood donation pins and memorabilia. They decided it to display them in a shadow box. For Colleen’s retirement, Elisabeth presented her with this beautiful gift of memories to enjoy.
"The Blood Donor staff is so wonderful to get to know… I am so grateful to them. They make me feel as though I am a hero," Colleen says. Colleen recently completed her 245th donation!