World Blood Donor Day is a day dedicated to “thanking and celebrating voluntary, non-remunerated blood donors.” It occurs on June 14, the birthday of Karl Landsteiner, the creator of the ABO blood group system, for which he won the Nobel Prize.
OneBlood joins in thanking our hundreds of thousands of blood donors who as First, First Responders make sure that a ready blood supply is available at all times to save lives and families!
Kathy Jones was a Tampa resident, High School teacher, spouse and mother when she was diagnosed with Acute Aplastic Anemia and began her battle against it. Her victory over it allowed her to live and become a Grandmother. She wrote to OneBlood: “This year in my life marks 14 years since I fought Acute Aplastic Anemia, a non-cancerous blood disease, and relied on blood products at least three times a week for almost a year until I had a bone marrow transplant.
I will never forget the first night that I realized how sick I was and a nurse brought in a bag of platelets and attached it to my IV pole. I remember staring at it and wondering to whom these precious platelets belonged? I wasn't even sure what platelets were, but I knew whoever donated them was an angel on earth. On the off chance that it wasn't a real angel, I prayed that whoever it was God would bless that person for caring about a stranger. I prayed that prayer so many times in the coming year. It's been my pleasure to be one of "the faces of the recipients" of whole blood and platelets.
I cannot thank you enough. Each time you donate please know that there's a grateful person on the other end who could never repay you. Please accept my heartfelt thanks and may you always know you gave a priceless gift to a stranger just like me."
Transfusion of blood and blood products helps save millions of lives every year. It can help patients suffering from life-threatening conditions live longer and with higher quality of life, and supports complex medical and surgical procedures. It also has an essential, life-saving role in maternal and child care and during man-made and natural disasters.
However, in many countries, demand exceeds supply, and blood services face the challenge of making sufficient blood available, while also ensuring its quality and safety. An adequate supply can only be assured through regular donations by voluntary, unpaid blood donors. The World Health Organization’s goal is for all countries to obtain all their blood supplies from voluntary, unpaid donors by 2020.
Today, only 62 countries get close to 100% of their national blood supplies from voluntary unpaid blood donations, with 40 countries still dependent on family donors and even paid donors.