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Tue, Mar 3 1:26pm · Blood Product in the Sky in Blood Donor Program


With eyes wide open, the Marketing and Recruitment Team from the Blood Donor Program stepped out onto the helipad. With breathtaking views of the Downtown Rochester, it’s hard to imagine this beautiful space as a place where so many people land with traumatic and life-threatening injuries.

In speaking with Rob Brundige, a Mayo One Flight Nurse, he was quick to mention the importance of blood product. Mayo One carries six units of blood product on their aircraft with each trip. Without this blood product, Rob states that his job would be exponentially more difficult.

According to Rob, there are regulations involved with the blood product that Mayo One carries. The cooler used to carry blood products is validated to carry 4-6 units of blood to adhere to regulations and temperature control. In addition, there is a strict rotation with the blood product itself. This rotation is in place to ensure that any blood product that has not been used within a certain time frame can be redirected back into Mayo’s supply for use before it goes to waste. This process involves a special refrigerator system that is temperature controlled and monitored 24/7.

Having access to the Mayo Clinic and its top-notch healthcare is something that tends to be overlooked and underappreciated within our community. We are so fortunate to live so close to a facility that provides medical miracles daily, but it’s become so common and natural to us that we often take it for granted. One of the unparalleled characteristics of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program in Rochester is that all blood product collected here goes directly back to our patients and their needs. This is quite rare as far as blood banks go—oftentimes, blood product is purchased and distributed to local hospitals and neighboring communities.

With this being said, Mayo Clinic has the unique capabilities to allocate some of our product to resources such as Mayo One. Mayo One falls into a small category of Helicopter providers with the ability to carry blood products, because of this, the Rochester area and surrounding communities are extremely fortunate to have access to Mayo One.

Wed, Feb 26 10:14am · A Day with Rochester Fire Station #1 in Blood Donor Program

Droppy in Firetruck

A special Valentine’s invitation was extended to the Blood Donor Program’s Marketing and Recruitment Team—an invitation to spend the day at Rochester Fire Station #1. The relationship between these two entities evolved with the start of the Donor Program’s Battle of the Badges blood donation campaign. The Battle of the Badges campaign involves the four first-responder groups in Olmsted County competing to see which group can bring in the most blood donations. These first-responders see the need for blood donation each and every day—which is why this campaign makes for some good healthy competition.

One could say this invitation derived from a unique partnership between the Blood Donor Program and the fire station, or one could say the fire station was trying to earn a few “brownie points” before the start of this year’s competition (running June, July and August). Although their attempt is quite appealing, the Blood Donor Program prefers to keep the competition fair!

In their time spent at the fire station, the marketing and recruitment team was able to feel the passion that the firemen had for what they do every day. With such lighthearted attitudes and jokes, they were just as quick to adjust their mindsets the second they were called out into the community. The firemen said that without having fun around the station, their job would be much more mentally exhausting.

When discussing the importance of blood product with Brett Knapp, he mentioned, “a blood donation is a huge benefit to those people we see in the street. In a lot of cases, it’s a lifeline for them to receive further care beyond what we are able to provide in the street. It’s a big benefit for the people we are trying to help…”

Brett Knapp

The marketing and recruitment team stated that this opportunity is one that they will never forget—that it was incredible to see the calls from the community come in and watch just how diligently the firemen worked to get to that call. It was an unforgettable experience! The Blood Donor Program looks forward to their annual Battle of the Badges competition between the four first-responder groups in Olmsted County, with no bias as to who wins of course!

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email Or visit our webpage

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Tue, Feb 4 1:05pm · Are you registered as a blood donor on Facebook? in Blood Donor Program

In a community like ours, where blood donation is so vital, there is a new way for donors to stay connected. Facebook now offers a feature that allows you to register yourself as a blood donor. Doing so allows local blood banks to notify donors of opportunities to give in their local communities.

Why should I register as a blood donor on Facebook?

  • Receive notifications when blood banks near you have a shortage and are requesting donors
  • Set reminders to make appointments for donating
  • Ready access to your local blood bank contact information
  • Inspire friends and family to donate

How to register as a blood donor on Facebook:

  • Go to your “about” section in your profile
  • Under the “details about you” tab there is an option to register as a blood donor.

Or, simply follow the directions through this link.

Become a Blood Donor

With Facebook’s blood donor tool, donors are now more easily connected with local blood donor centers. The Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program is excited to share this Facebook Tool to educate our donors in various ways they can keep up-to-date with our donation requests.

NOTE: For iPhone users, your location must be shared with the Facebook app as either “always” or “only while using the app” in order for the nearest donor centers to pop up.


How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email Or visit our webpage

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Mon, Jan 27 12:42pm · Rally of the Restaurants in Blood Donor Program


Local restaurants bring a sense of “hometown” to our community. What better way to support our home than by donating blood that goes directly back to Rochester’s patients and community? Join and help promote the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program in its “Rally of the Restaurants” blood donation challenge hosted by local Olmsted County restaurants.

Show your support by donating blood for your favorite organization–it’s easy to donate! Simply check-in at the front desk at one of the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center locations with the desired team name to ensure your blood donation is counted during the competition. The team with the highest amount of donation points will win bragging rights and a plaque.

Participating restaurants include:

CHESTERS (Terza and Pescara Included)

SMOAK (Five West and the Loop Included)

NEWTS (All three locations)

Henry Clarin of Nova Restaurant Group stated his excitement for this challenge when he said, “Chester’s, Pescara and Terza are part of the local Rochester community. We have supported local efforts to help our friends and neighbors for over 10 years in Rochester. We look forward to continuing our service to our community with our support through Rally of the Restaurants and the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program.”

There is no substitute for the lifesaving gift of blood, and patients rely upon the caring spirit of blood donors. The goal of this fun and friendly challenge, being hosted by the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program, is to save lives through blood donation and to build community relationships and awareness about donating blood and blood products.

“The Rally of the Restaurants Blood Donation Challenge is a way that blood donors will be able to help provide a much-needed life-giving resource which is not available by any other means. ’” says Camille M. van Buskirk, M.D., Medical Director of Mayo’s Blood Donor Program. “Not only do the blood donations help save the lives of our patients, but they will also help to show support for a favorite restaurant during the challenge.”

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email Or visit our webpage

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Dec 16, 2019 · Shea Day Blood Drive in Blood Donor Program

At six months old, Shea was a happy, healthy baby. So much so that her mother Kerry had no reason to worry when she dropped off Shea at her grandmother’s for the weekend. On Sunday, however, Kerry received a call saying that Shea had been sleeping quite a bit and that she looked a little yellow.

Kerry and her husband Jo wasted no time taking Shea to the doctor where she was eventually diagnosed with autoimmune hemolytic anemia. For months, Shea and her family lived in the hospital where she received 63 blood transfusions until her hemoglobin returned to normal levels.

Shea’s family is so grateful for all of the blood donors who helped to save Shea’s life that they have started an annual blood donor day on Shea’s Birthday called, Shea Day. This year, Shea’s mom Kerry had bigger plans in mind for Shea Day. Annually, Kerry arranges a blood drive around Shea’s birthday here in our donor center, but for her 6th birthday, Kerry wanted to gain more participation by hosting Shea Day in a larger venue at the Northrop Community Center.

As expected, the results from this special drive were outstanding!  With our techs registering a total of 41 donors, they were able to collect a total of ­­­30 units. Of those donations, 12 of them were brand new to our life-saving blood donor family.


When talking with Shea at the blood drive, she was asked what she likes to do now that she is healthy.  She giggled and shared, “I love my Teeno. He is berry special to me, because I had him in the hosibal … and I sleep with him every night.”  Teeno, her Mom enlightened stated, is a little stuffed giraffe that she received while she was going through her difficult times.  Shea also expressed that she loves baby duckies. She said, “I like to chase my duck around the yard and try to hug him!”

Her mom asked her if she knew why it was important for people to donate blood, and Shae replied, “Because some other people need it.  What if some other people… another kid… was sick in the hosibal and needed it?!”

Shae is a little ray of sunshine to all who know and love her.  Thank you for donating blood, so that Shea is still here to chase her little duckies around the yard.  It is because of you that the blood drive was a booming success and Shea is now a healthy little six-year old. On behalf of Shae’s family and the Blood Donor Center, we want to thank you for donating and your selfless act of kindness.

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email Or visit our webpage

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Dec 11, 2019 · A Blood Recipient's Story: Frank in Blood Donor Program

Frank 3

On December 6, 2004, in St. Charles, Minnesota, Frank was next to a silo on his farm after leveling it off so that he could start the unloader to place corn silage into the machine. While standing on the auger, a colleague flipped the unloader switch, but he also flipped the auger switch. Frank was pulled down, feet first, into the auger, doing all he could to hold his torso above the menacing blades before the motor was shut down. But the damage had been done.

Muscle from Frank’s right leg was completely torn off from his knee to the ankle. Blood was everywhere. After a frantic 911 call, Frank was taken by ambulance to Saint Marys Hospital (it was so overcast that day that Mayo couldn’t fly its helicopter). “I talked the whole time,” Frank recalls. “I never lost consciousness.”

Frank spent about a month in the hospital and then went back every other day for two more months, enduring multiple surgeries. The surgeon eventually replaced muscle in Frank’s leg with muscle from his back. The recovery was long and arduous, but Frank’s leg was saved. That following summer at the Olmsted County Fair, Frank ran into a nurse who was in the ER the night he was brought in. “You’re alive!” she exclaimed. “You had lost so much blood. We were very worried about you.”

Speaking of blood, Frank knows he wouldn’t be alive if it wasn’t for the precious gift of donated blood. “I will never get to meet the people who donated the blood that saved my life,” he says, “but I am forever indebted to them.”

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email Or visit our webpage

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