A Donor's Story: Wes

Sep 1, 2023 | Cameron Smith | @cameronsmith

On April 21, 2022, in the midst of his fight against a rare form of Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Wes Nigon updated his Caring Bridge page.

“Today I looked at some work emails, not necessarily to work, but to see how many people were desperately in need of something. There were only a couple, but there was one email I saw that brought me to tears. It was titled: “Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program: Dear Wes, This is a friendly reminder that you are once again eligible to donate blood...”

Wes had donated whole blood for years. “As a nurse,” Wes said, “I was able to see firsthand the impact of giving fresh blood to patients. It is eye-opening.” Then, just three donations shy of 5 gallons, Wes received a diagnosis that permanently deferred him from ever being able to donate blood. With many types of cancer, you can donate blood again just one year after your final treatment, but that is not the case with blood-borne cancers like Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

However, this was far from the end of Wes’ donation journey. Wes closed out his Caring Bridge post with a simple request: “If you are of able body, go donate blood. I want to see how many lives we can potentially save with this one request.” As an answer to the post, a donation group called Wes’ Warriors emerged, donating blood and saving hundreds of lives in Wes’s name. He may not be able to donate himself, but he continues to save lives by encouraging others to donate blood.

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

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