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!

Jun 26, 2017

A Donor's Story: Sam Receives Lifesaving Transfusions

By Jackie O'Reilly, @jacquelineoreilly

Sam blog size

Many seven-year-old boys enjoy the outdoors, playing soccer with friends and celebrating a game victory with a treat. Because of a rare food allergy, Sam eats a “treat” that consists of a special chocolate chip his mom orders online from an allergy-safe factory.

At six months old, Sam was diagnosed with food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome. There are only 16 food items that Sam is able to tolerate, mostly through a feeding tube in liquid form. Because he is so limited in the food products he can tolerate, Sam’s ability to consume much-needed nutrients has been a challenge.

“The road to diagnosis was difficult,” says Sam’s mom Joy, “and the long-term outcome is still undetermined, but we are optimistic.”

Early on, young Sam became severely anemic and was so weak that he needed a blood transfusion to increase iron levels to give him strength and keep his body functioning. Two more transfusions took place over the next year, and finally, Sam’s physicians put a name to his rare food allergy and provided the family with resources and instructions to help Sam live a normal, active lifestyle.

Thanks to the gift of blood, Sam’s rare blood type was available when he was in desperate need. “He’s as active as any young boy,” adds Joy. “It’s great to see him on a soccer field, with his favorite Lego soldiers nearby.” And, of course, he still enjoys his favorite treat—chocolate chips.

Want to help people like Sam? Schedule an appointment to donate blood in Rochester today by calling (507) 284-4475.

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