Tara Frantz and Ashley Bergman are best friends and cousins who are practically inseparable — even when donating blood. Their first time giving blood was at a mobile drive that came to their college in 2002. Because their family has many regular donors, it was an easy decision for the two of them to become consistent givers as well. They had a group of friends they would take to donate regularly. One time, they even went to the donation center for a birthday celebration.
Now, both teachers in San Diego, Tara and Ashley continue the tradition they started together years ago by coming in to the San Diego Blood Bank to give.
“We always race,” said Ashley. “And she always wins.”
“I do,” laughed Tara. “I won this time, too.”
“We’re related, we’re loud, we’re weirdos, and we donate together,” said Ashley. “It’s more fun that way!”
Ashley’s blood type is rare, so she understands the importance of people like her coming in to donate because she just might be a match with someone in need.
Tara’s blood type is O-, or the universal donor, which can be given to any patient in need no matter their blood type.
“It’s great to give life,” said Tara. “There’s a lot of hate in the world, and this is a way to share love literally and anonymously. A lot of people seek honor but because you don’t know who will be receiving your blood, it’s an anonymous way to be loving.”
“It’s easy, free, and you can make a difference in people’s lives,” added Ashley. “It’s not scary, and the staff here make it comfortable. We always make friends, too!”
Both cousins enjoy traveling, anything outdoors here in San Diego, especially going to the beach, and teaching. For their next adventure, they’re planning a trip to Nashville to experience the Music City for the first time.