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Blood Donors Helped Save My Life

Oakland Township Patch editor Jen Anesi returns to work two weeks after receiving six blood transfusions at Crittenton Hospital in Rochester.

Dear Blood Donors,

Thank you, all of you.

Thank you to the six blood donors, whoever you are, who gave the blood I received two weeks ago when I showed up at the emergency room scared out of my mind and throwing up blood. It was your O-negative donations that kept me alive and healthy enough to endure an operation to remove a stomach tumor I didn't even know I had.

Needing blood is not what I – a normally healthy blood donor who gives blood, not takes it – was used to, though I did write this in a June 22 : "I totally believe that what goes around, comes around, and I'm hoping that if I ever end up in the hospital and need O-negative blood, it will be there for me."

Well, it was, and it's because of donors like you.

To all of the blood donors out there of every blood type, thank you for taking the time out of your day to visit a blood drive, endure that 16-gauge needle in your arm and to others who need it. And to those of you who are heading over to the today between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. for its big , thank you; each pint of blood you donate today will help save the lives of up to three patients in the coming months.

Patients like me.

Really, if it weren’t for blood donors like you, I might not be able to hug my 5-year-old son before he gets on the school bus this morning, give my boyfriend a peck on the cheek as he heads out the door or come back to work just two weeks after losing a considerable amount of blood.

So if you’ve ever wondered if you’re making a difference by donating blood, you are. You’ve definitely made a difference in my life, and you’re impacting the lives of the five million other people who will receive blood this year in the U.S. From cancer patients to car accident victims and even Patch editors, your donations are saving and enhancing thousands of lives every single day.

Thank you, blood donors, a million times over for your generosity and willingness to help someone you’ve never met. You have no idea how much it’s appreciated.

Forever grateful,

Jen Anesi
Editor, Oakland Township Patch

If you are interested in donating blood, please visit the American Red Cross website or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767). To search for nearby blood drives, click here.

Kristin Bull October 10, 2011 at 12:26 PM
It's great to have you back, Jen. I second the "thank-yous"!
Tiffany Dziurman Stozicki October 10, 2011 at 01:15 PM
Absolutely and welcome back, Jen! We missed you!
David Gifford October 10, 2011 at 03:19 PM
Wow! So glad to hear you are better! I am actually donating at 6:30 tonight at the First Congregational Church in Rochester. It will be my first time ever donating blood and I am O negative. The donation at the library is too early as I work during the day but that did not keep me from looking at the Red Cross page to see where other donations were taking place. Your testimony makes me realize even more the importance of donating blood! http://www.redcrossblood.org
Stephanie U October 10, 2011 at 03:45 PM
I am so proud to be a part of collecting blood and donating blood for the Red Cross in this area. If you miss the library event today St. Philip's Episcopal Church on Romeo Rd, downtown across from the Dairy Queen is hosting another one on October 21st from 1pm-7pm. You can make appointments online by visiting www.redcrossblood.org and using the sponsor code "stphilip" . https://www.givelife.org/index.cfm?group=registration&hlc=stphilip It's stories of recovery like yours that inspire me daily to raise awareness for the Red Cross. I unit of blood, donated in 15 minutes can save up to 3 lives.
Liz October 10, 2011 at 04:34 PM
A wonderful written story. So sorry you had to endure all the pain and stress. My husband has AB negitive and he was faithful in donating all the time. Thank God for people who donate their time and their blood. Stay well.
Laura Cassar October 10, 2011 at 06:18 PM
Welcome back, Jen! You were missed!!
Jen Anesi October 10, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Thanks, Kristin, and thank YOU for your help in running the site while I was gone. :)
Jen Anesi October 10, 2011 at 07:02 PM
Thanks, Tiffany, I missed you, too!
Jen Anesi October 10, 2011 at 07:04 PM
Oh, good for you, David! I'm so glad to hear you're donating, especially since you're a universal donor. Thank you so much :)
Jen Anesi October 10, 2011 at 07:07 PM
Thanks you for all of your hard work and blood donations, Stephanie! And thank you for the information about the blood drive at St Philip's next week. Do you work on mobile blood drives, then?
Jen Anesi October 10, 2011 at 07:11 PM
Oh my, AB negative is the rarest blood type! Good for your husband for donating :) And thank you so much for the well wishes. I feel great now, and I owe that to individuals like your husband!
Jen Anesi October 10, 2011 at 07:12 PM
Thank you, Laura! Your food/restaurant columns helped keep me going in the hospital when all I was allowed to eat was jell-o and broth. Still waiting for that bacon cheeseburger, though. Where was it you recommended? Mr. B's?
Brendan McGaughey October 10, 2011 at 09:01 PM
Oh Jen, we all missed you so much! I donated a fresh pint of O-negative less than 48 hours before you were admitted, so you might have a little of my crimson running through your veins...I wish it was vice versa because then maybe I'd kidnap your mad video skills.
Jen Anesi October 10, 2011 at 09:07 PM
If that's the way it works, then I want a pint of Stephen Hawking's blood! You don't need my video skills anyway – you're a great videographer! But seriously, thank you SO MUCH for donating. It would just be wild if you were one of my donors, wouldn't it? Thank you thank you thank you! :)
Kathleen Ritter October 11, 2011 at 11:29 AM
Jen, I work for the American Red Cross and was so delighted to read your story. I am so happy that you are "alive and kicking" in part, due to the many generous donors who gave their blood so that you and others can enjoy good health again. Hopefully now people will "get it" and understand that blood is not alway waiting for us when we or a loved one needs it. If everyone donated regularly, we would always be in a great position to help so many people! I wish you great health Jen and thank you again!
Jen Anesi October 11, 2011 at 02:18 PM
Thank you, Kathleen, for all of your hard work at the American Red Cross. You are making a difference every single day! And thank you so much for the well wishes :)
David Gifford October 11, 2011 at 05:55 PM
My first time donation at the Congregational Church in Rochester was a great experience. I will be back to donate in December for sure!
Michele Diamond October 12, 2011 at 09:41 PM
Hi Kathleen. I am preparing to comment on Jen's story and saw your posting. Nick and I donated Monday at the library. He was unable to donate a double as he'd been told he'd donated too often recently :), :( Be well, Michele Diamond
Doug Menzer October 17, 2011 at 07:43 PM
Welcome back Jen! Crittenton Hospital is having a Red Cross Blood Drive on Monday, 11/21/2011n Details are on their site here: https://www.crittenton.com/CREG/ClassDetails.aspx?sid=1&ClassID=11481
Jen Anesi October 18, 2011 at 11:53 AM
Yay, David! Thank you so much for giving it a try and for planning to donate again :)
Jen Anesi October 18, 2011 at 11:57 AM
Thank you, Doug, and thanks to everyone at Crittenton – especially the blood bank staff! I will be sure to add this to our event calendar. :)

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