Blood Donor Program

This group is for people interested in blood donation. Every six minutes, a patient at Mayo Clinic needs a transfusion of blood or blood products. A simple blood donation can save the life of a child with leukemia, restore the strength of a cancer patient, or provide a critical transfusion to an accident victim. There is no substitute for this lifesaving gift, so patients rely upon the caring spirit of blood donors. Join the discussion and learn more about blood donation!

Sep 27, 2016

60 Pints and Counting...A Lifetime of Blood Donation

By Alyssa Frank, @alyssafrank


Darla Schletty, Software Quality Coordinator at Mayo Medical Laboratories, has been donating blood since she first heard about it from her high school teacher. And 33 years later, she is still donating blood at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester and for the American Red Cross. With more than 7.5 gallons donated, it’s hard for her to remember when she wasn’t a blood donor.

“It’s such a powerful feeling to know that you are potentially saving someone’s life,” says Schletty. “We live in an area that needs a lot of blood, so to me, it’s selfish to not donate blood. It’s such a small thing we can do that helps so many.”

More than Just a Blood Donor
Schletty is not only a strong proponent of blood donation, but she is also an advocate for organ donation. She proudly wears her organ donation pin on her identification badge, which often prompts others to ask about it. You will also find a “Beyond the Yellow Ribbon” pin on her badge as a way to honor her son Cody, a Specialist in the Minnesota Army National Guard, who is being deployed to the Middle East.

“That’s his way of donating,” says Schletty. “Some of us donate blood, and some of us donate far more than that. Either way, we are helping people in need.”

One myth that Schletty would like to set straight is the idea that giving blood is painful. She says, “Besides that teeny-tiny needle stick, it doesn’t hurt after the needle is in or as the blood is leaving your body.

“You have to think about the recipients of this life-saving product,” Schletty continues. “Whatever those patients are going through is a thousand times worse than the small discomfort that you go through when the needle goes in.”

For more information about donating blood in Olmsted County in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email

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