Give Someone Another Summer
Help us make moments that count in the lives of our patients. For patients like Naomi and Jillian, it's as simple as getting the opportunity to spend another summer with their family. Your donations help make those moments happen. Give another summer to a patient in need of blood by helping the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center continue to provide this lifesaving resource.
We encourage all eligible donors to help save the lives of patients by stopping by or scheduling your donation at any of our conveniently located donor rooms.
Look at what our donors give patients:
Naomi Hennesey was born with an autoimmune disease called thalassemia, a condition quite common in her native China. Thalassemia is a blood disorder in which the body does not create enough red blood cells or enough of the oxygen-carrying protein called hemoglobin. The only treatment for thalassemia is blood transfusions, which Naomi will receive for the rest of her life.
In China, blood donors are rare and there are extreme shortages of blood available for patients. Naomi, who grew up in an orphanage, would receive blood transfusions just twice a year. The result was that she always was exhausted and frequently in pain. Fortunately, she was adopted at the age of 10 by a family from Helotes, and now she is able to receive lifesaving transfusions on a regular basis, approximately 35 to 50 units of red blood cells in a typical year.
Annette is thankful for the number of donors in the United States who have been a part of Naomi’s progress. Many children with thalassemia from the area in China where Naomi is from do not live past the age of 14, but she already has beaten that with her recent 15th birthday – and a normal life.
After her experience with cancer, Jillian hopes to spread the message about the need for blood and platelet donations. “Being on a pediatric floor in a hospital, there were so many instances when I would get blood products, and there were other kids in there getting some, too.”
Jillian, 19, knows what it means to depend on the generosity of blood donors. In the course of a few months, the Texas Lutheran University student learned she had a rare form of bone cancer, had major surgery to save the use of one of her legs and underwent chemotherapy to make sure the cancer was gone from her body. She received blood and platelets once a week during treatment.
Today Jillian is adjusting to her prosthetic and is getting back to being active and back to school. She is currently in the process of training for tryouts to play sitting volleyball for the U.S. Paralympics Team and continues to encourage others to donate blood. She hopes more people will consider donating.
“Every pint counts,” she said.