Being active is a very important part of Jess’s life. Golf, volleyball, and running are ways that she enjoys staying active and spending time with friends and family. “I’m grateful that I’m healthy and able to participate in activities that I love.”
Jess participates in fundraisers through sports-related tournaments and “fun runs,” but she also enjoys giving back through blood donation. “You can’t be sick when you show up to donate blood,” she says, “The staff at the Blood Donor Center need healthy volunteers, and I want to be able to donate whatever type of blood product they may need.”
Jess grew up in a family of blood donors and learned from a young age the importance of donating. Even though she has been deferred in the past because of low hemoblobin, Jess continues trying to donate at every opportunity.
“I wasn’t happy to find out during my last mini-physical that my iron level was low, but I was also upset that I couldn’t donate that day,” she says. “Not all things in life are easy. You need to keep trying because every donation you’re able to make can touch multiple lives.”
Jess and her work unit at Mayo Clinic in Rochester have made donating blood a “group effort” by competing in “blood donor challenges” against other work units. She has also donated with friends and family members. “I love competition—friendly or otherwise—so it’s fun to participate in these challenges while also saving lives in the process.”