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Donor Spotlight | Miami-Dade Congressman Mario Diaz Balart

Heather Georgoudiou
September 01, 2020

He was the first member of Congress to announce a positive test result for COVID-19. Now, Mario Diaz-Balart is giving back.

"I've been very fortunate. I was able to go through this and defeat this without ending up in the hospital, without having major complications. And I figured, what else can I do to help? And this is one way that we can help and potentially save a life."

The Republican Congressman who represents South Florida says, as soon as he recovered from the coronavirus, he wanted to find a way to help those who were having a harder time battling the virus than he did. His COVID-19 antibodies in his plasma have the potential to help people fighting the virus. 

"When I knew that I had the possibility of giving plasma after having gone through the virus, I called Mayor Suarez of the city of Miami and I said, what's the way that you did it? What do you think is the most efficient and quickest way to do that? And he directed me to OneBlood."

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Miami Mayor Francis Suarez was the first person in Florida to become a COVID-19 convalescent plasma donor. Now, Congressman Diaz-Balart is following in his footsteps.

Congressman Diaz-Balart says, "Giving plasma, giving blood is such an easy thing to do and yet it can make such a huge difference to people out there who are really struggling with this very dangerous virus."

The Congressman's wife donated alongside him. She did not have coronavirus but is a regular blood donor with OneBlood.

She says, "When our child was in the hospital and had open-heart surgery, other people donated blood and helped save his life. It's a simple thing I try to do and I hope others will do the same."

The Congressman says, "The folks at OneBlood make you feel at home. They do it professionally. Literally right now they're doing the whole process of extracting the plasma from my blood and I don't feel anything."

It's potentially life-saving plasma he hopes will help someone battling COVID-19 recover from the virus.

"It's a horrific tragedy for the thousands and thousands of families who have lost loved ones. For those who are struggling through this, I'm just grateful for OneBlood, for the amazing professionals here who are here doing their job. Again, potentially to save other people's lives."

And he has a message for anyone who has fought COVID-19 and won. "I ask anybody who's been as lucky as me, who has been able to beat the virus, come donate blood, come donate your plasma. It could help save a life."

Heather Georgoudiou OneBlood Digital Marketing Manager outdoor

Heather Georgoudiou

Heather Georgoudiou is OneBlood’s Digital Marketing Manager with 10 years’ experience in the health care industry.  She is passionate about saving lives through engaging digital communications. Power tools include strong tea and dark chocolate. 

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