I wonder what happened to the blood you donated? Miller-Keystone connects recipients and donors – Morning Call

This week I donated blood for the first time in a long time.

It’s nice to do something to help your community. I hope my donation will make a difference for those who are sick. And I hope to get the information through a new initiative proposed by the Miller-Keyston Blood Center.

At the end of last year, the “Thank you donor” program was launched.

People who receive blood in some hospitals are given the opportunity to write an anonymous thank you to the person who gave it.

Imagine how you would feel if you got this:

“Thank you very much for donating blood. It helps me during the triplets pregnancy. My family appreciates this more than we could show. It’s happiness to be able to get life-saving blood … a million thanks to you from our growing family ”.

Here’s what a blood receptionist at St. Luke’s University Health Network told his donor. She attached a photo of her sonogram.

Such a message should definitely inspire you to keep donating blood. This is the idea of ​​a program that unfolds during one of the biggest blood deficit in recent times.

The goal is to “make the donor feel as if he’s really going to someone, not just disappearing,” said Diane Whist, senior director of risk and health management for donors at Miller-Keystone.

The hope is to create an emotional connection that inspires donors to become repeat donors. The thought that they have helped someone can also be an incentive for new donors.

People who donate blood may also be inspired to become donors.

The program began in December at the Frank M. and Dorothea Henry Cancer Center in Wilkes-Barre, part of the Geisinger Health System.

It has since expanded to St. Luke’s Cathedral; Reading Tower Health; Geisinger Wyoming Valley; and the Geisinger Public Medical Center.

In these hospitals, staff explain the program to patients who receive blood, or members of their families. Those who want to attend go to the website to write their note by entering a unique identification number from the blood they received.

The message arrives at Miller-Keystone, which associates the identification number with the donor. Employees then send the note by email or mail.

Some blood donors They are so proud of the messages they received that they posted them on Facebook, Whist told me.

She said donors who receive gratitude and prefer not to receive it in the future may refuse. But that did not happen.

“Everyone is looking forward to it,” she said.

The process is anonymous. Donor and recipient do not have access to each other’s personal information.

So far, 78 blood recipients have participated. Here is what some of them told the donors:

“May God bless you. My sister is battling stage 4 breast cancer. Your blood saved her life today and helped her live to fight another day. ”

“Thank you very much for your generous donations. I just realized how rare this blood type is. Thanks to your kindness and sense of community, you have helped me to overcome a serious illness, and when I get to my feet, I will give grace and donate this rare blood. “

“I would like to thank you for taking the time to donate your blood, which I received. I had a miscarriage and I lost a lot of blood and your donation saved me. Thank you again for your generosity. ”

Recipients can also attach a photo or video to their message.

Thanks to Donor was developed by the Oklahoma Blood Institute. It was so popular that the institute shared its concept with other donation centers, including providing the necessary software and training.

I hope donors who receive messages through Thank You Donor are inspired to continue donating. I hope they share their inspiration with others and encourage them to donate as well.

If you don’t get a notification from your blood recipient, don’t despair. Not all hospitals participate in the program. And not all recipients may be comfortable participating. Recipients can deal with deeply personal situations and prefer to remain private.

But that doesn’t mean they’re not grateful.

If you leave the donation center or blood collection, rest assured that you have changed.

You can find the venue for the upcoming blood draws or make an appointment to donate blood to the donation center, on the Miller-Keystone website at and the Red Cross website at

Morning Call columnist Paul Musik can be reached at 610-820-6582 or

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