Working for 5 years as a nurse in Kidney Transplant and last 32 years in Cancer Research, Pat Koenig always enjoyed donating blood and felt that blood donation was something that she could be proud of. She smiles, "I have AB negative blood, so the Blood Donor staff love to see me!"
In 2015, after a DCIS (Ductal Carcinoma in Situ of the Breast) cancer diagnosis, she was so disappointed to learn that once she finally would receive the news that she was in full remission, she would still have to wait five years until she would be eligible again to donate. So, just as soon as that five-year mark had rolled around, she was back on the appointment schedule. "I was so excited to be able to donate again," she smiles.
Interestingly enough, when Pat came in for her appointment and shared with her tech that she was finally 'cancer free', she learned that just recently the deferment criteria following a cancer diagnosis had been relaxed. It now states that if a donor was not diagnosed with a blood-borne cancer, they now only need to wait one year until they are again eligible following receiving the word that they are in remission.
"This is a good thing for those who are free of cancer and find donating blood a very important part of their lives like I do," she shares.