Patients like Bella need you

Share the blood for fighters

The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) invites you to offer your support for patients like Bella. Your blood donations are administered during chemotherapy to help replenish crucial blood cells lost during treatment. 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.

Bella's Story

bella-sanchez-patient-1The drive from Laredo to San Antonio takes about two and a half hours, but it felt like an eternity for Ray Sanchez and his wife. The couple’s 7-month-old daughter Bella was on a helicopter being flown from Laredo to Children’s Methodist Hospital in San Antonio. Bella, who was diagnosed with leukemia that day, was on her way to the hospital for lifesaving treatment while her parents drove as fast as they could. 

Ray, an Iraq war veteran, recalls never being as scared in his life. “I thought my baby was going to be gone once I arrived to the hospital,” said Ray. 

Bella remained in the ICU of Children’s Methodist Hospital for two weeks. Her long-term treatment included nine months of chemotherapy, steroids, spinal taps and blood transfusions. 

“I never thought we’d be looking at that. I never thought one of our kids was going to get that,” said Ray. 

During that time, Bella’s family hosted blood drives in her honor. 

Bella went into remission during her first cycle of treatment. However, she recently relapsed and will begin a new treatment. This time, Bella will not only need blood transfusions but also a bone marrow transplant. 

Ray plans on holding more blood drives in Bella’s honor, as well as bone marrow registry drives. 

You can help little Bella by donating blood at a South Texas Blood & Tissue Center donor room or joining the national marrow registry. Text Cure139 to 61474 to begin the registration process. To learn more about the registry, visit


Giving blood means bridging the space between two lives. One is healthy, vibrant and generous. The other is experiencing illness, trauma and uncertainty. Making a blood donation is one of the most intimate and priceless gifts one can give and The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) is honored to be the bridge between those two lives.


  • EAT - Consume an iron-rich meal before you donate. For meal tips, click here.
  • HYDRATE - Drinking 8-10 glasses of fluid 1-2 days before you give will help make veins more visible, help you feel more energized after donation and more.
  • Rest - Get a good night's sleep before you donate.
  • Avoid aspirin - If you're planning on donating platelets, avoid aspirin products or blood-thinning medications for 2 days prior to donation. 
  • Provide consent - If you're 16-years-old, we will need consent forms signed by your parents. Click here to download the forms.
  • Are you eligible? - If you have questions about your eligibility, or to ask about a specific medication, please call our eligibility specialists at (800) 292-5534, ext. 2243, Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can also email us here

Click here for additional donation resources

Social Media Resources

Bella and patients like her depend on blood and platelet donations. The best way to ensure the blood supply is there for patients in need is to donate. Help share the importance of blood donations with others on social media with our social media images below.

Click an image to download. The image will appear in a separate browser window. Right click on image and choose "Save image as" to save to your computer or shared drive. Feel free to use the following hashtags help build a conversation online: #ShareTheBlood #NBDM #BellaStrong

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Anyone who is 16 years old weighing 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or at least 17 years old weighing 110 pounds and in good general health can donate blood. Donors must present photo ID, last four digits of their Social Security number and their birth date.