BlogHer '11 Conference Blood Drive

BlogHer Original Post

Fact: 37% of all American’s are “eligible” to donate blood products i.e. plasma, whole blood, platelets (and more!)

Fact: ONLY 5% of American’s donate any form of blood products

So this year, on the urging of our colleague and friend, Erin Kotecki Vest, BlogHer's Social Media Strategist aka: Queen of Spain, we have decided to roll up our sleeves (literally) and donate blood products while we are at the San Diego Convention Center for BlogHer ’11! 

In the event you are not up-to-speed on Erin’s journey, I had the opportunity to chat about why blood, organ, tissue donation is so important and here is what I learned ...

For Erin, without the assistance of plasma through her IVIG treatments, she would not have the ability to build her immune system, which as of today was at a scary zero, meaning she has absolutely no immune system.  She cannot, on her own, fight off something so small as the common cold, never mind flu season.  She lives in a world of constant hand washing, so much so that when her kids, ages 6 and 8, come home from school, the new normal is wash hands, then hug and kiss Mommy. 

In her home there are a lot of new normals.  It is now normal that “Mommy needs medicine in her arms” in order to be healthy and protect her major organs and live.  This cocktail of medicine that enters through her arm includes much needed plasma; plasma that of course comes from blood donors like you and me.  While plasma is not the single source that is keeping Erin alive, it is a critical element of her recovery and immune-building process. 

Erin receiving plasma

Credit Image: Erin Kotecki Vest receiving treatment: Queen of Spain on Flickr

In order for Erin to continue this regime of healthy living, not an easy task she’ll tell you, she must receive numerous doses of IVIG treatments -- with one dose requiring 1,000 donors!  To date she has received five doses and yes, that would mean 5,000 people have saved Erin’s life, so far. She is scheduled to receive her 6th dose next week, and then her schedule will be three doses every three weeks until ... we just don’t know yet.  Again, the math is easy, each dose requires 1,000 people to donate.

One would think that after this two-year journey (she first got sick in summer of 2009), she would be distraught and depressed and yes, sometimes she is, but first and foremost she is looking for ways to help others.  She said to me, “Giving blood is the easiest way to give back, and if I can be the face of this project, I am happy to be there cheering everyone on!”  Yes folks, as of today, our dear friend Erin (Queen of Spain) will be joining us in San Diego cheering us on as we roll up our sleeves and donate our blood products!

Here is the what, when, who and how:

What:  BlogHer ’11 Blood Drive

When: Saturday, August 6, 2011 – 10:30 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.


How: Register here and secure your spot!

Other: What if you can’t donate?  Share this post and invite a friend to donate in on your behalf!

More about donating:

Before you donate blood, please familiarize yourself with the following guidelines to ensure a successful and pleasant donation experience.

What You Should Know Prior to Donating


There is more than one type of blood donation. You have some choices about how to make a difference in life!

  • Whole blood donation -- you donate a pint of whole blood which can be used either whole or separated into blood components. The actual donation takes about 15 minutes.
  • Apheresis donation -- you donate a specific blood component, such as red blood cells. More red blood cells can be donated at one time by apheresis than by a whole blood donation. The apheresis donation is done using a machine which separates out the desired blood component. An apheresis donation may take up to an hour, so come ready to read or relax!

What You Should Do Prior To Donating

  • Make an appointment beforehand to minimize your wait time.
  • Drink plenty of fluids and have a good meal before you donate.
  • Review the donor requirements and verify that you are indeed eligible to donate at this time.
  • If you plan to donate on a bloodmobile, make sure to review the bloodmobile schedule to verify that it has not been canceled or rescheduled.
  • If you are a 17- or 18-year-old high school student, you must have a signed permission slip to donate blood.

What You Should Eat Before Donating


A healthy diet helps ensure a successful blood donation, and also makes you feel better! Check out the following recommended foods to eat prior to your donation.

What You Should Bring When Donating

  • Photo ID
  • List of medications you are taking
  • List of places you have visited outside of the U.S. in the past 3 years
  • A friend to donate with you!


Lori Luna
director of events


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