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!

Oct 3, 2016

Donating Blood: A Family Affair

By Alyssa Frank, @alyssafrank


For Alissa Spitzer, Education Development Assistant at Mayo Medical Laboratories in Rochester, donating blood is a family affair. Spitzer’s mother Diane Todd, a retired ostomy nurse at Saint Marys Hospital, has been donating blood her entire life, and Spitzer’s grandmother Irma was also a lifelong blood donor.

image-37610c051c15Donor, Recruiter, and Inspirational Mom
Spitzer has donated more than two gallons of blood at the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center in Rochester—no small feat. She enjoys the convenience of being able to donate at the mobile blood drives, mainly the Superior Drive Support Center location where she works. During her most recent donation, Spitzer also convinced three colleagues to donate, including a first-time donor.

When asked what inspires her to reach out to others to donate, she responds, “It is my hope that from inviting others to consider it, we can reach multiple individuals who can then recruit one or two more people, and then it just spreads. Blood cannot be manufactured, so it is truly up to us to help those in need.”

Spitzer is carrying on the family tradition by inspiring those in her own home. Her 14-year-old daughter Lily wants to become a blood donor herself once she is old enough (in Minnesota, she may donate at 16 with parental approval), which will make four generations of blood donors in their family.

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

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