Platelets are a lifeline to many patients in need of treatment, especially those undergoing certain types of cancer treatment. This lifesaving product is often referred to as liquid gold due to their yellow tint.
According to America’s Blood Centers and ADRP, more than 6,000 platelet units are transfused every day and are often used to help cancer patients.
Rhode Island Blood Center (RIBC) spoke with three young adults who are committed to donating platelets, despite the time it takes.
Jason Darminio first learned about blood donation through his mom, who is a donor herself with RIBC. He made his donation at our Aquidneck donor center and was hooked.
“At first it was scary, but the staff at the Aquidneck center are all great and I enjoy talking to them.”
Jason tells RIBC he made the switch to donating platelets after talking with his mom about becoming a gallon grad, which is a high school program RIBC runs to honor high school students who donate 8 times before graduation.
“I was looking for more ways to help people and I found out you can donate platelets more often and help more people when you donate platelets versus whole blood.”
He has already achieved the benchmark of a 2-gallon donor and just made his 27th donation. His message to those considering donating is simple.
“There is really nothing to worry about with donating blood, and you save lives.”
There is a constant need for platelets. They have a shorter shelf life compared to other blood products.
Camryn Correira started out donating whole blood, making her first donation at her high school blood drive in East Providence. She switched to donating at our Providence center to maintain a regular appointment schedule so she can continue to help save lives.
Camryn decided to switch to platelets when RIBC put out the call for help.
“There was an email that we received about there being a need for platelets and we had some time, so we decided to do it.”
Michael Robinson started donating after learning Camryn was also a donor. He had heard about it before through his dad who is a 3-gallon donor with RIBC.
“Donating blood isn’t as scary as it seems.”
As for why takes the time to donate platelets, he tells RIBC that the time spent is valued by the staff.
“Every time we have given platelets the staff seems very appreciative of it and it seems needed, so it’s worth it to continue taking the time to give.”
Jason, Michael and Camryn tell RIBC that even if you are unable donate platelets, they hope you will consider donating in other ways to help patients in our community.
You can donate platelets up to 24 times a year but there is a time commitment with this, as it usually takes about 2 hours.
For more information on platelet donation, please visit ribc.org/platelets.