Why We Give

Sam and I had a "perfect" life...almost. We were blissfully in our own world until one day about 10 years ago when we were made keenly aware of the need for platelet donations.

Judy and Sam Brimer from Pollock, LA donating platelets

We've been married for almost 40 years and have three healthy, happy and now grown-up daughters. We owned a business in good times and bad and then (now) great for over 30 years. We gave blood occasionally when a drive was where we happened to be. We were not aware of platelet donations and had no real idea who needed them

Our granddaughter, who was 4 months old, was diagnosed with cancer. Due to the side effects of chemo, she needed platelets, which were thankfully "available" every three weeks when she needed them. Then one day there was a "platelet" shortage announced which created delays in the children's cancer ward receiving platelets.

Upon looking into platelet donation, we realized how much they were needed, and always in inconvenient times. Scientists can't generate platelets in a lab, so the only way people who need them can get them is if they are given by us - real people with busy, real lives, on holidays, etc. and it requires 2-3 hours away from work. Also, platelets have a really short shelf life (days), so they have to be donated over and over again. Once Sam and I both started giving, we realized that our donations were able to given to babies because of a certain virus we've never had, and we've always been really happy for that one extra blessing of knowing that our donation is helping them. Sure, it's uncomfortable and inconvenient, but it's essential, there's no other way, and the need is always there.

And the person that needs them next can always be you or someone you love. That fact was driven home to us five years later when, unthinkably, another of our granddaughters was diagnosed with cancer and needed platelets throughout her treatment. We were so grateful for those anonymous donors who helped make it possible for our family to have the gift of extra time with our grandchildren. We consider it a blessing to be able to do the same for someone else.