Jeanne and Martin Hogan
Martin “Marty” Hogan and his wife Jeanne are regulars at Versiti’s Bay City, MI, donor center. “It’s always a real positive experience; the people are really friendly and it’s a nice atmosphere to give blood,” Marty says. “It’s just one of the ways that we can easily give back to the community.”
On Sunday, June 18, 2023, Marty gave blood like he always does. The following Monday, June 26, he received a letter from Versiti that his platelets were dangerously low—27,000, when the normal range is 150,000-450,000. The next day, Marty saw the doctor, who found bruising and petechiae on his abdomen, arms and legs. “I had noticed some bruising, but I thought it was from pushing out my sailboat and jumping on the boat to go sailing,” he says.
By Thursday the 29th, Marty was diagnosed with leukemia and was admitted to the hospital. He began chemotherapy Saturday, July 1. “The great thing is that if I hadn’t received that letter from Versiti, it might have been another few months before I realized what was going on,” he says. Throughout the course of his treatment, he has received platelet and red blood cell transfusions to bring his levels back to normal. “I have needed a lot of blood products, because the chemotherapy completely wipes out my bone marrow and my ability to make blood,” he says. “I’ve really benefitted from blood products.”
Marty encourages others to donate blood to help cancer patients like him. “I would say, go to Versiti where there are wonderful people, and donate regularly, because there’s a huge need in our community,” he says. Jeanne, who reached the 6-gallon donation mark in October 2023, couldn’t agree more. “The staff are amazingly kind, and they are family to us,” she says. “I know that Versiti saved my husband’s life, and you will always hold a special place in my heart!”
“There’s a constant need; it never goes away. You never know when you may need blood products. I never dreamed that I would receive so many,” Marty says. “It’s so easy to donate. You’re there not even an hour, and you don’t realize what a huge, amazing gift it is that you could actually be saving someone’s life,” he adds. “Thank God for Versiti! Saved my life in a couple different ways.”
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.