A Donor's Story: Steve

Mar 1, 2023 | Cameron Smith | @cameronsmith

In 2011, 14-year-old Will was featured in the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center calendar, as he received frequent platelet transfusions in his fight against cancer. Steve, Will’s father, says, “Will was outgoing, very friendly, he had a large smile, and he made friends easily. He loved music too, mostly heavy metal, with a passion.” Sadly, after three years of fighting, Will lost his battle against acute lymphoblastic leukemia in March of 2011. It has been over 10 years since his son’s passing, but Steve continues the battle in honor of his son, regularly donating platelets to give others the strength to fight.

Platelets help blood to clot and control the bleeding in our bodies, so they can be essential to surviving surgeries as well as fighting chronic diseases, traumatic injuries, and cancers like Will had faced. Platelets help so many people, but they must be used within five days of donation. “After learning of the short shelf life of platelets, it was obvious to me that I could help out more by donating platelets,” Steve explained. “Because I had retired, I now had the time, and there is always a need for platelets to help cancer patients. For me, it was a no-brainer.”

“During Will’s journey, people would always ask us what we needed,” Steve says. “My response: you should become a blood donor.” Steve has donated more than 100 times. “It is so easy, it does not hurt, and you are going to save a life. You are giving someone the strength to fight their fight.”

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