Gina embodies what it means to be a big hero with a big heart. And it’s all for her son, Evan. Giving blood is in honor and in memory of him.
Donating blood is an emotional and powerful act of love
Gina is an inspiration to those who are lucky to know her. Gina’s son received several blood and platelet transfusions in preparation for a bone marrow transplant. Since then, she and her family have become dedicated blood donors in gratitude to those who gave for Evan when he needed it most.
“I have been donating since 2009. It took me two years to make [the weight requirement to donate]. After losing our son Evan due to a secondary infection during his lifesaving bone marrow transplant, it was really important that I could start giving back after seeing how much blood he needed during his 5-month hospital stay.”
Through grief, in gratitude, and to heal—Gina gives
Gina donates platelets every few weeks with San Diego Blood Bank and is proud Guardian Circle member. Guardians Circle blood donors are an elite group of dedicated blood donors who pledge to donate blood within 8-weeks of eligibility to help ensure local patients can rely on a robust blood supply. Gina’s platelet donations help people to treat and overcome illness and disease.
“Once I was able to start donating platelets, I have started to donate monthly if I can. I love that I am CMV negative and get to help immunocompromised patients like my son Evan.”
Building a Legacy and Helping Families Thrive
After Evan’s passing, Gina started the Be A Hero Become A Donor Foundation to advocate for blood, bone marrow, cord blood, and organ and tissue donation. She soon connected with San Diego Blood Bank to collaborate awareness and donor recruitment efforts.
Through her Foundation, San Diego Blood Bank (and in Orange County, Southern California Blood Bank) blood drives, and bone marrow registry awareness efforts, Gina is committed to sharing her story and her time to advocate, motivate, and inspire people to give life.
New Donor Center in Irvine is Now Open
Thanks to Southern California Blood Bank Irvine Business District Donor Center, Gina has a new sanctuary. There she will put into motion an amazing act of selflessness and love—donating blood.
Right now, Gina’s many blood donations are flowing through the veins and hearts of strangers. Each recipient, a survivor, is given the opportunity to live a longer and healthier life.
It is in giving that we receive. And it is through blood donation that patients in our community can thrive.
Connecting Patients to Life Through Blood Donation
Donating platelets can take 60 to 90 minutes. Each minute is required to collect lifesaving platelet units through apheresis (ay-fur-ee-sis). This process draws and spins the blood, collects, and separates the platelets, and returns plasma and red blood cells to the donor. These units become a life-sustaining treatment for hospital patients.
Platelets must be transfused within five days and are needed by hospitals constantly. Platelets help patients manage the effects of chemotherapy treatments and provide the boost in platelet counts needed to prepare for bone marrow transplants and continue chemo. Some patients require platelets during traumas and surgeries as they help with clotting during massive blood loss.
Gina shares some helpful advice with those considering blood donation:
“Eat a good meal, come with a good attitude knowing you will be saving up to three lives, and remember the patients you will be helping.”
Sign Up to Become a Blood Donor and Save Local Lives
You can become a blood and platelet donor, too!
Questions about medications, travel, and more? Email us at email@example.com.
Blood Donation Resources