Why one super donor is inspired to keep giving
During March, which is National Red Cross Month, the Red Cross celebrates the people who help make their humanitarian mission possible, and that includes generous blood and platelet donors who roll up a sleeve to help hospital patients every day.
Thanks to thousands of generous donors across the country, patients in need of blood transfusions due to accidents, cancer, blood disorders and more have received lifesaving treatments throughout the pandemic.
Shaun Brennan is just one of these donors making a difference.
A Memphis, Tennessee resident, Shaun has a passion for life that is shown through a healthy lifestyle by participating in sports teams and running daily. He is committed to sharing his health with others, too, by being a regular blood and platelet donor.
“I think I have a responsibility to give because I’m very healthy,” said Shaun. “I haven’t taken a sick day since 1985.”
Shaun started donating blood in 1985, partly motivated by a childhood experience of being very sick and going to the doctor over 100 times between ages 5 to 8. To date, Shaun has donated blood and platelets more than 500 times.
He proudly gave his 500th donation with the American Red Cross in 2021, a milestone that less than 1 percent of Red Cross donors have achieved. And Shaun’s giving continues without missing a beat.
“Never in over 500 donations have I ever had any complications,” he said.
Being a super donor may sound like something difficult to accomplish, but according to Shaun, its quick and easy and starts with one donation. Shaun is motivated to continue giving so that hospital patients can get the treatments they need to live.
“That’s the reason I subject my body to this, sitting in a donor chair over 500 times. I think of the patients in critical need. We’re counting on these lifesaving products, and if they get them, they have a fighting chance to continue living. That’s why I do what I do. It’s all about saving lives,” he said.
Shaun hopes more people will join him by giving blood regularly. “No matter what I do individually, it’s not nearly as powerful as what we could do collectively,” he said. “Many of us dream of being heroes or making a difference, and you can do that by becoming a blood donor.”
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide. To donate blood, simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information.