A Donor's Story: Melanie & Lindsay

Oct 3, 2022 | Kayla Mulhern | @kaylam1

Fast friends Melanie Peterson and Lindsay Stromback were diagnosed with breast cancer just a few months apart from each other — Lindsay in November 2017 at age 36, then Melanie in February 2018. Both women were diagnosed before the recommended age for a mammogram (40-44). “Because of Lindsay’s diagnosis, I did a self-check and found something,” says Melanie. “Shortly after, I was diagnosed at the age of 39. It was devastating.”

The two met at Mayo Clinic in 2012 while attending a medical secretary training program. When Lindsay received the bad news, “I told Melanie about my diagnosis even before telling my husband,” she says.

Both women had been regular blood donors but could not donate blood for at least one year after completing their cancer treatments to avoid further compromising their health. Over the course of their illnesses, Melanie and Lindsay bonded even more. “We fought cancer together through surgeries, chemotherapy, and radiation,” says Melanie, who underwent a unilateral mastectomy. “It was a tough journey, but we had the support of each other to get through it.”

“We were chemo buddies,” says Lindsay.

Thankfully, the two friends have since made remarkable recoveries. Melanie has even been able to start donating blood again. “I was a double-red donor prior to cancer and, unfortunately, I did not make the cut this time, but I was able to donate whole blood,” she says. “Cancer took so much from me, but giving blood again brought me back to a good place, because once again I am able help patients with this lifesaving gift.”

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email donateblood@mayo.edu. Or visit our webpage http://www.mayoclinic.org/donateblood.

Follow Us
Untitled design (1) Untitled design Untitled design (3) Untitled design (4)

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

Please sign in or register to post a reply.