After logging 36 years as a Mayo nurse in Surgery, Bev has seen firsthand the critical need for donated blood to help patients survive an operation—so much so that now, in semi-retirement, she conducts blood drives as a parish nurse at Zion Lutheran Church in Stewartville. Recently, she organized her seventh blood drive.
Bev, who also works part-time as a technologist, standardized patient actor, and registered nurse at Mayo’s Simulation Center, recalls that her first blood drive was the most stressful because she had to make cold calls to names in the church directory. These days, she is considered an ambassador of her "church family" and has developed a list of donors who have participated in past blood drives—some of whom are actually calling her ahead of time to be scheduled for an upcoming drive.
The drives are also seeing more young people, especially 16- to 17-year-olds, who are donating blood as part of their routine with full support from their parents. Bev also reaches out to other churches within the community, which has been a fruitful way to recruit new registrants for a drive.
Many of the donors have told Bev how much easier it is to give blood within their own community rather than making a longer drive into Rochester. This is good news to Bev who, a few years ago, found out she was no longer eligible to donate her own blood. Hence, the success of these drives is a way for her to still give back to her community and, as she learned from all her years assisting in surgery, continue to help save lives.
To read more stories like this go to Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Program's Blog Page.
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