A Donor's Story: Kaylee

Dec 1, 2023 | Cameron Smith | @cameronsmith

Kaylee’s blood donation journey started long before she even realized it. As someone who was at first too fearful to donate, Kaylee did her part by helping sign up donors at her high school blood drive. Fast forward to 2014, when Kaylee started working at Mayo Clinic as a speech pathologist and was asked to donate blood with a colleague. Despite her nerves, she knew it was her turn to give it a try. Following the donation Kaylee was surprised at how easy it was. “I think there is a misconception that blood donation is a painful or scary thing to do,” said Kaylee.

Kaylee says that through blood donation, she is better able to connect with her patients and sees firsthand the difference a blood donation can make. Adam, Kaylee’s husband has also been a long time double red cell blood donor with the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program and together their past donations gained new meaning during the birth of their son Nolan. Due to an undiagnosed case of vasa previa, both Kaylee and Nolan needed an emergency blood transfusion. Without time to complete a blood test, newborn babies receive Type O- blood, as it is the universal donor. As a type O- donor herself, Kaylee said this brought everything full circle. “I am so thankful for donors out there who gave their time to make sure we had access to this blood.” Today, both Nolan and Kaylee are happy and healthy and so thankful to our community.

“At the end of the day, I believe it is the easiest way to give back with the most return. Where else can you give up an hour and save three lives in the process? It’s a profound way to give back to Mayo and our community!”

Interested in more newsfeed posts like this? Go to the Blood Donor Program blog.

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