May 23, 2016
Allison is a very special rare donorby CBCC
Allison was heading into Walmart when she saw a big red bus that made her stop in her tracks.
“My son and I had just come from a rugby game, and I saw the bloodmobile and I was like, ‘You know what? I’m going to donate first.’ So I donated and then I went to Walmart and I shopped,” she said.
That was Allison’s first time donating blood – with the Community Blood Center of the Carolinas or anywhere – but it was not her last.
Allison is a rare blood donor, in more ways than one.
CBCC conducted rare antigen testing on Allison’s donation and was able to determine that her specific blood type combination is found in only 3% of CBCC’s entire donor base. Donations from those 3% of donors are typically the safest blood products for patients who require a more specific match than just blood type, especially those with compromised immune systems. She is also a Sickle Cell Hero, which means her blood is the safest match for our local sickle cell patients, who often require multiple blood transfusions as part of their treatment.
When CBCC reached out to Allison to explain her rare status, she was inspired.
“When I got that letter, I was like, ‘Oh, wow! I have rare blood! That’s so cool!’” she said.
But Allison is also rare because when she got the news, she asked CBCC Donor Education Specialist Halima to go ahead and schedule her next donation appointment. And another one after that. Actually, she asked to schedule her appointments for the rest of the year – and she’s keeping them.
“I donate because I want to be able to help somebody who needs it, whoever it is,” Allison said.
And she will be helping somebody. Donors like Allison provide a huge service to a group of individuals who have a hard time finding compatible blood products in their time of need. Without donations from our rare donors, these local patients are at risk for transfusion reactions, which may negatively impact their quality of care. All of this makes donations from rare donors like Allison extremely important, and she’s ready to take on the responsibility.
Despite being deferred for low iron, Allison is never deterred. She is always determined to increase her levels and make it back in to donate and make a difference in the lives of our local patients.
“It makes me happy when I can donate,” she said. “I like it.”
In fact, at her last donation appointment, she was not only able to donate again, but she was also the lucky winner of two tickets to a Charlotte Hornets game!
Allison’s advice for would-be donors is simple: “Educate yourself on it and the benefits of doing it. Ask questions and just try!”
Easy enough. But, did it hurt?
“Not at all!” she said. “And it was quick! It was 20 minutes!”
Allison’s enthusiasm for blood donation hasn’t gone unnoticed. Her 11-year-old son wants to donate as soon as he’s old enough. In the meantime, Allison said she’ll keep coming back.
“Every 56 days!”