Sleeves Up. Hearts Open. All In.

By Ashley Henyan, L.A. Region Volunteer

As an American Red Cross blood drive volunteer I meet real life super heroes every week. The commitment and dedication of our donors continues to baffle my mind. Every 56 days, like clockwork, regular donors cycle back in, roll up a sleeve and save another live. For these donors, giving blood has become more than a chance to save lives. It has become a way of life— there super hero way of life!

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But what motivates these donors?

When Cheri Schrupp found out her blood was CMV negative, she made a commitment to herself to donate on a regular basis. CMV is short for Cytomegalovirus, a common flu-like virus found in 85% of healthy adult’s blood. In the rare event a donor is CMV negative, they automatically become a great candidate to donate to individuals with weakened immune systems and newborn babies. For Cheri, knowing her blood was especially helpful was all the reason she needed to donate every year. Then, one day, she received a thank you letter from the American Red Cross. The parents of a new born baby who received Cheri’s blood wanted to contact her and express their heartfelt gratitude. Cheri’s blood donations were directly responsible for saving the life of their child. After reading this letter, Cheri decided she would donate blood as often as humanly possible. Today Cheri has donated over 10 gallons of blood to the American Red Cross. Every 56 days she’ll cycle back in, roll up her sleeve, and in the style of a real life super hero, save another life.

Cheri’s compassion and dedication is contagious and stories like hers motivate me to continue volunteering with the American Red Cross. Cheri, you are my hero! Sleeves Up. Hearts Open. All In.

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