Years ago, special ed teacher Beth Diekema heard of a young boy in her school district who had leukemia and needed a bone marrow transplant to survive. Though a transplant match was never found, the boy’s life was saved thanks to an umbilical cord blood transplant.
Beth was inspired. When she was pregnant with her daughter Claire, her father—a Versiti employee—encouraged her to consider donating Claire’s cord blood. After consulting with her doctor and filling out the paperwork, all Beth had to do was wait for her daughter’s arrival.
“As an adult, I would love to save somebody’s life,” Beth says. “How great to know that an unborn child can give life, too, even when they’re just getting theirs?”
After Beth safely delivered Claire, doctors collected her cord blood in a blood bag. “It was interesting to see how much blood they actually collected, and to know that would’ve just been wasted,” she says. “It doesn’t take anything away from you or your baby; it’s just giving something to someone else.”
Beth attempted to donate cord blood a second time with her son, Connor, but was unable to. Still, she encourages other expectant mothers to learn about donating cord blood and how they can save lives.
“It’s quick, easy and painless. And if it benefits somebody else, why wouldn’t you do it?” she says. “It can change somebody’s life forever.”
People need people, make a difference in someone’s life by donating blood.
We must rely on each other for the gift of blood, and patients in your community rely on the generosity of Versiti’s blood donors to help. Please consider scheduling an appointment to donate. If this is your first time, donating blood is quick, easy and relatively painless. And, it is a great way to give back and help patients in your community.