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“Why I donate” – More stories from OP’s regular blood donors

As we approach UCOP’s June blood drive, here are a few more stories shared by our staff about why they donate blood, and why they encourage others – if they are able – to do so as well. Here are the details for OP’s upcoming blood drive:

June blood drive

Date: Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Time: 8:15 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Location: The Bloodmobile parks in front of the East Bay Municipal Utility District building on 11th Street between Franklin and Webster streets

To make an appointment to donate or if you have questions, contact Jan Kehoe at 7-9526 or

Stories from colleagues who donate

“I first donated while I was in high school — probably because I was afraid to do it and so it was an adventure! When I went to college, I continued to donate and got a pin when my donations added up to a gallon. While not everyone can donate for a variety of reasons, it’s easy for me, and I’ve continued to donate. I feel like it’s a way to give back or ‘pay it forward.’ Sooner or later someone we care about will rely upon the donations that others have made.” Blaze Farrar, BRC compliance analyst, Business Resource Center

“I donate because, if not for the stranger who donated blood to me twice when I was born, I would not be here today. I was a month premature and an Rh baby. I needed two blood transfusions to survive. Because of my blood type and the Rh factor, they had trouble identifying a compatible blood donor. When they found someone, it was late at night and he had no transportation to the hospital. My dad drove across town to pick him up. The rest, as they say, is history. I feel it is a small thing I can do to make a big difference in someone’s life.” Name withheld by request

“I used to faint after donating, but have gotten over that with time. I encourage anybody who has had a bad experience in the past to keep trying! It’s amazing to think about the impact you can have on somebody’s life just by taking an hour of your day to donate.” Sarah Tenenbaum, Systemwide Human Resources fellow

“I donate blood because it helps others in need — people in hospitals, emergency rooms, etc. And, giving blood is so easy; it’s right across the street, you choose an appointment time, you can take work to read or check your phone during the procedure, and afterward you get delicious cookies and other sweets made by UCOP’s own Jan Kehoe! It takes less than an hour and you get a bit of good karma, so please donate!” Dan Scannell, COI/PRA coordinator, Office of the General Counsel

“In all honesty, I donate because I enjoy helping others. Being able to save a life is one of the most liberating feelings anyone can have. Our lives are a precious gift, and helping others live by donating blood allows them to continue to share the blessing of life with us all.” Lee West, UC Security

“My first child was IVF, so a miracle baby. She was born with a rare heart defect, so we knew surgery would be in her future. Because of our blood types, my husband and I were out of the picture for donating. When our families and friends learned of her medical condition, they stepped in to donate. My husband and I are regular blood donors now as a way to give back to others.” Holly Rodriguez, compensation specialist, Human Resources Compensation Programs and Strategy

“My mom was a nurse who worked for our local blood donation center, so I have been ‘brainwashed’ from an early age!” Eric Eberhardt, director, Energy and Sustainability

“I worked in a clinical environment for many years and saw lots of people in serious need of medical care. Also, my relatives have had surgery and needed transfusions from blood donors. I’ve always felt that if I donate blood to help other people, then other people will be there to donate blood when I or someone in my family needs help. It’s paying it forward. The American Red Cross staff are friendly and professional. And, Jan’s goodies after the donation are to die for!” Janna Tom, director, Research Policy Analysis and Coordination

“I’ve been donating blood since I was first able to in high school, and have been a pretty consistent donor ever since. After my first child was born in 2008, we discovered that she needed surgery to fix an abnormality in her skull called craniosynostosis. She underwent surgery when she was 8 months old. I was not a match for her, so the blood she needed during surgery came from a stranger! That experience brought it home for me how important blood donors are, and reinforced my desire to keep donating.” Éva Goode, OP budget director

“I don’t have a story but here’s the reason why I donate blood: In one hour I helped save three lives!

No, I am not a firefighter, a soldier or a doctor. I am a blood donor. Every time I step out of the Red Cross van after donating blood, realizing that I helped save a life makes me feel amazing about myself!” Sameera Shaikh, business systems analyst, Benefits Information Systems

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