Told Best by Those Who Give and Those Who Receive

Some of you have been raising your sleeve for more than 20 years. Others gave for the first time this year. Regardless of when you started, all 89,133 Indiana Blood Center donors have a story.

Elaine started donating because her mom told her it was the right thing to do. After a few years of giving back, the act of donating blood “hit close to home.” 

Jeff started donating when he was 16 and continued because it is “easy and makes a difference.” Little did Jeff he know that a blood donation would save his life. 

Thanks to the generosity of Elaine and Jeff and other loyal donors, hospital patients have more tomorrows; they have seen brighter futures.

Cody Adams, father of Madi Adams, a bone marrow and blood recipient, reaffirms the life-giving act of blood donations by stating, “without people giving that blood… she may not even be here right now.” 

We look forward to rolling out these intimate stories told by donors and recipients in 2016. In the meantime, we want to hear from you. What’s your story. Share here.

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Now Accepting Milk

For Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU) babies, donated blood and donated human milk are critical to survival. Indiana Blood Center and The Milk Bank joined forces to ensure fragile infants have access to both. June marked our first year of partnership with The Milk Bank; one that connects Indiana Blood Center donors even more deeply to a community committed to serving infants in critical need.

The Milk Bank, founded in 2005, is a non-profit organization that promotes community health by expanding the safe use of human milk for all babies, especially premature and ill infants. The non-profit accepts and pasteurizes breast milk from fully screened and approved mothers to be sent to the NICU in hospitals throughout the Midwest.

With seven locations throughout Indiana, Indiana Blood Center’s donor centers are conveniently located near milk donors. As the partnership rolled out, Indiana Blood Center placed a freezer in each of its locations, serving as official milk depots for approved Milk Bank donors. Milk that is collected at Indiana Blood Center locations is then transported to the pasteurization facility at The Milk Bank, making the turnaround time between a milk donor and NICU more timely.

Indiana Blood Center also provides the blood screening required for potential milk donors going through The Milk Bank’s approval process.

The partnership with The Milk Bank perfectly aligns with Indiana Blood Center’s lifesaving mission. Knowing that our broad footprint of donor centers throughout Indiana opens the opportunity for even more mothers to donate milk adds yet another point of pride in what we do.

For more information about The Milk Bank, visit

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Allison Transmission Celebrates 100 Years of Excellence and 24 Years of Giving Life

Celebrating its centennial throughout 2015, Indianapolis-based Allison Transmission is also proud of its longtime relationship with Indiana Blood Center. Since 1991, Allison employees have given back to the community by impacting thousands of lives through blood donations.

Allison traces its corporate lineage back to the founding of the Indianapolis Speedway Team Co. on Sept. 14, 1915. As a co-founder of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway and part owner of several racing teams, James A. Allison established a precision machine shop on Main Street in Speedway called the Allison Experimental Co. to support his racing endeavors. In the years that followed, the company evolved from working on race cars to becoming a leading manufacturer of aircraft engines, locomotive products, and, beginning in the mid-1940s, automatic transmissions.

In conjunction with the most recent blood drive at Allison’s global headquarters in Speedway, Indiana Blood Center worked with Allison to create a timeline that charted the company’s history, along with the history of Indiana Blood Center and the evolving science of blood transfusions. The signage was on display as 188 Allison employees raised their sleeves.

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Today, Allison is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully automatic commercial-duty transmissions and a leader in hybrid-propulsion systems. The company has approximately 2,700 employees and a market presence in more than 80 countries.

Indiana Blood Center congratulates Allison on its historical milestone and its longtime commitment to our lifesaving mission.

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Education: Apheresis

You trust Indiana Blood Center to make the most of your very personal gift. Many of our donors have the potential to give an apheresis donation. This means you have an opportunity to maximize your donation and have a greater impact on patients in need.

What is apheresis?

Apheresis is an automated process by which whole blood is collected and separated into its individual components: red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. The specified product is collected and the remaining components are returned to you. By using apheresis, Indiana Blood Center is able to customize your donation to patients’ specific needs.

CaptureDo the double and share your rare

Donors with blood types O, A-, or B- are eligible for a double red cell apheresis donation. Donors with O+ and O- blood types are particularly encouraged to donate via apheresis, as type O- blood can be given to all patients. Red cell donors are eligible to give through the apheresis process every 112 days.

Maximize your donation power

Capture1Donors with all blood types are encouraged to donate via a plateletapheresis donation. Those with A+ blood (the second most common blood type) are especially encouraged. The most powerful part of A+ blood is found in the platelets, which can be donated every two weeks, up to 24 times a year.

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Meet Sneha. 16 and healthy because of donors like you.

Meet Sneha Dave, an energetic 16-year-old junior at Center Grove High School. She enjoys playing tennis and volunteering. Sneha is able to do what she loves thanks to the generosity of Indiana Blood Center donors.


Sneha Dave preparing to receive her transfusion

At age six, she was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis, a chronic and incurable inflammatory bowel disease that affects the large intestine.

The medication she received to treat her symptoms caused pancytopenia, a disorder that reduces the number of red and white cells and platelets.

Sneha’s hemoglobin levels continued to drop, causing her to feel weak and impaired.

“I couldn’t even walk up the stairs by myself. I was so weak.”

At age 12, Sneha received her first blood transfusion at Riley Hospital for Children.

Sneha Dave School Photo

Sneha Dave today

With just one transfusion, her hemoglobin levels were back to normal.“It was incredible. I had so much more energy,” said Sneha. “The transfusion was a transformation.”

A blood transfusion is the number one procedure performed in a hospital, and Sneha is one of thousands of hospital patients who benefit from this lifesaving treatment.

Today, she pays it forward. In her spare time, she volunteers with organizations like Riley Children’s Foundation, all with the motivation of spreading awareness about ulcerative colitis.

“Look at what you have instead of what you don’t,” advises Sneha. “Donate blood. It’s what saved my life.”

To learn more about colitis and Crohn’s disease, visit Sneha’s website at

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Preparing students for purposeful lives

It was 1977 when Donna Gustafson joined Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology as a staff member in the student life area. Along with her regular work duties came the responsibility for coordinating campus blood drives, a role she didn’t take for a granted.

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Donna and Indiana Blood Center collections staff

38 years and 28,222 units of blood later, Donna has made her mark.

“It’s the students,” said Donna. “Giving back is ingrained in the culture at Rose. It’s part of the holistic approach we take. We encourage students to adopt an “attitude of gratitude” and attempt to prepare them to be good stewards of the community,” she remarked.

Every 56 days, Rose-Hulman hosts a blood drive on campus because of Donna’s dedication to curbside community service and Indiana Blood Center’s lifesaving mission.


Donna’s retirement cake

Wrangling college students to give an hour of time every few months is no easy feat. It takes creativity. “Competitions between residence halls with a pizza party for the winner works well,” said Donna. “But it’s the personal approach that works every time.”

With bittersweet emotions, Donna will retire on June 30. Her established success as a blood drive coordinator will live on, both through the philanthropic student body and her well-groomed successor, Kyle Rhodes. Kyle is a Rose-Hulman alumnus who helped coordinate campus blood drives as a student.

To Donna, Kyle, Rose administrators and students, it’s because of your commitment to our mission that makes more tomorrows possible for countless hospital patients. For that, we thank you.

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Don Lasher 2 “Cancer patients don’t get a day off.” This is the phrase Don Lasher keeps in the back of his mind. It is what keeps him motivated.

Don gave his first pint with Indiana Blood Center in 1991 and has not stopped since. It wasn’t long before a blood technician explained how he could help even more patients by donating platelets. That was all the motivation he needed to make the switch from whole blood to platelets.

Don is a regular “two on Tuesday” donor, stopping by the Carmel donor center every other week on his way home from work to give a double platelet. “It’s like clockwork,” said Susan Purichia, donor center specialist for Indiana Blood Center. In early April Susan scheduled Don’s routine appointment and realized Tuesday, April 28, 2015 was going to be anything but routine.

“I opened his donor record and saw the number 574 next to his lifetime donations.” She began hand counting in disbelief. “I got to 400 and just stopped,” said Susan. “We don’t even have gallon pins that go that high.”

Don intends to achieve 800 donations before he “retires” from service to others. A thumbnail calculation equates to 100 gallons and several thousand patients impacted by his generosity.

That’s one amazing anniversary.

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