Woman to meet 10 strangers who donated blood platelets to save her life
Due to confidentiality laws, most blood donors never know who receives their blood. Similarly, patients never learn the identities of the people who donated their time and blood to save their lives. On Friday, that's all about to change. For the first time, a UCLA cancer patient will meet a group of longtime blood-platelet donors who sustained her life with their generous donations.
Ray, 56, a leukemia survivor, will thank the 10 men and women whose 93 donations of blood platelets sustained her during 12 months of cancer therapy. Ray underwent her last transfusion in November 2009. The African American mother of four lives in South Los Angeles and is on disability from her job as a teaching trainer for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She will be accompanied by members of her family.
Actor-screenwriter Matthew Hoffman, 48, and UCLA librarian Amy Wong, 37, are among the donors looking forward to giving Ray a warm hug. The group spans the spectrum in terms of ethnicity, religion, age and career and includes a Chinese American engineering student, a Latino fire marshal and a former New Yorker who donates in memory of his wife, who died of cancer. Many have donated platelets hundreds of times, starting in high school, and given twice a month for more than 15 years. Some have declined jobs in foreign countries and abstained from tattoos, alcohol and even aspirin in their enthusiasm for helping critically ill patients.
Friday, Jan. 29
- Noon: Donor recognition luncheon begins
- 1–1:30 p.m.: Ceremony; media are invited to attend
UCLA Faculty Center (California Room), on the UCLA campus (map)
To donate platelets, a person must be at least 17 years old, weigh at least 110 pounds, be in good general health, not take aspirin or anti-inflammatory drugs within 48 hours of donation, and be willing to allow two hours for the donation process. To schedule a donation, contact [email protected] or 310-825-0888, ext. 2.
Elaine Schmidt, [email protected], 310-794-2272 (office), 310-597-5767 (cell)
For media: To reserve complimentary parking in Lot 2 at Westholme Avenue and Young Drive, please call media contact by 10 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 29.