Patients like Bella need you
Share the blood for fighters
For more than 45 years, the South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) has been saving lives with the support of donors.
We invite you to offer your support for Bella and patients like her. Your blood donations are administered during chemotherapy to help replenish crucial blood cells lost during treatment..
This March, receive a $10 Amazon gift card when you make a blood donation. Platelet or type O donors receive an additional $10 Amazon gift card for their donation.
Shavano Donor Room | 4079 N. Loop 1604 West Suite 102, San Antonio, TX 78257
Westover Hills Donor Room | 10555 Culebra Suite 107, San Antonio, TX 78251
Northeast Donor Room | 8500 Village Dr. Suite 102, San Antonio, TX 78217
Southeast Donor Room | 3158 SE Military Dr. Suite 104, San Antonio, TX 78223
New Braunfels Donor Room | 651 N IH 35 Suite 830, New Braunfels, TX 78130
Victoria Donor Room | 1109 Sam Houston Drive, Victoria, TX 77901
Find a mobile drive in San Antonio or Laredo
Join the marrow registry
Another way to help patients like Bella is to join the Be The Match marrow registry.
GenCure, in partnership with Be The Match, is helping find marrow donors for patients like Bella. Signing up for the Be The Match Registry simply means you are making yourself available to patients who might one day need you. If you are between the ages of 18 to 44, you can register for the Be The Match registry.
Text GenCure to 61474 to begin the registration process.
The 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.
While Bella was in remission, she relapsed recently. She is now fighting leukemia for the third time.
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 GenCure to 61474 to begin the registration process. To learn more about the marrow registry or cord blood donations, visit gencure.org.
ABOUT THE SOUTH TEXAS BLOOD & TISSUE CENTER
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.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO BEFORE GIVING BLOOD?
- 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.
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. Tag us @connectforlife and feel free to use the following hashtags to help build a conversation online: #ShareTheBlood #BellaStrong
Social media graphics
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.