Commit for Life Calendar

Each year, we select a few photos and stories from the Commit for Life photo shoot to share in the Commit for Life calendar. Share your story with us and you could be invited to our next photo shoot! 

January 2018 - Jordan

Every family has its own traditions. For 2017 Commit for Life scholarship winner Jordan and her family, donating blood is a long-standing tradition that they couldn’t be more proud to share. Not only does she enjoy donating, she also takes pride in educating others about the need for donations. As she enters college, Jordan is looking forward to continuing the family tradition of saving lives for years to come. 

February 2018 - Spring Woods High School

Spring Woods High School is all about saving lives. One of the ways they accomplish this is by hosting four blood drives a year. “The blood drives bring our community together for a great cause, and show them how big of an impact we can have.” Natasha, the group’s sponsor, said. “We enjoy encouraging people to make a difference at an early age. The time to save lives is now.”

March 2018 - Van

Van was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive soft tissue cancer at just 8 years old. Despite the odds, he is now in remission and looks forward to beating his disease. With the support of Commit for Life donors, his family is confident in his future. “Our journey will be a long one, but Van will beat this. He has everything he needs and a fantastic team of doctors,” his mother, Stacie, said. 

April 2018 - Ron

Ron has been saving lives by donating blood since his college days. Since a blood donor may only give so many times a year, he decided to take his commitment a step further. He became a Commit for Life volunteer, so he can help save lives at any time. “I am 100 percent committed to the mission of The Blood Center. It is very rewarding to know that I help to save lives,” Ron said. 

May 2018 - Katie

Katie suffered life-threatening complications after giving birth to her daughter, Charlotte – complications that required more than five hours of surgery and multiple blood transfusions to save her life. Many people donated in her honor, an act she will never forget. “My family and I are forever grateful for those who Commit for Life. We have been called to make it our life’s mission to educate our community on the importance of giving blood,” Katie said. 

June 2018 - Daniel

Without blood donations, Daniel would not have survived a traumatic accident many years ago. His daughter now works for The Blood Center, and his son plans to follow the same career path. Daniel and his family are extremely grateful for Commit for Life donations. “Thanks to donations, I am able to see my family grow. Thank you to all donors for all that you have done,” Daniel said. 

July 2018 - Kaitlyn

Kaitlyn seemingly underwent successful scoliosis surgery during the holiday season in 2015. However, after the surgery, her body struggled to recover due to a low red blood cell count. Had it not been for blood transfusions, she would not have healed properly, which could have caused complications. “Thanks to donors taking time to donate during the holidays, blood was available for my daughter. I’m forever grateful to blood donors,” her mom, Katie, said. 

August 2018 - Rushi

Regular blood transfusions are lifesaving for Rushi, who was born with a blood disorder and is awaiting a bone marrow transplant. His mother, Nilima, is well aware of the impact that donations have on her son and others like him. “My son gets multiple blood transfusions every three weeks, so I know how important donations are,” she said. “They are helping to keep Rushi alive today.” 

September 2018 - Kisa

Sickle cell anemia is a blood disorder that affects nearly 20,000 people per year. Kisa is one of the many individuals battling the disease, and blood transfusions are a critical part of her treatment. Even though her illness derailed her childhood dream of becoming a ballerina, Kisa is excited to be pursuing new dreams, including a career in fashion design, thanks to Commit for Life donors.

October 2018 - David

Thanks to his 20-year law enforcement career, David was as battle-tested as anyone, but nothing could have prepared him for the moment he was diagnosed with cancer. David has undergone chemotherapy and received countless blood transfusions, and he couldn’t be more thankful to those who support him. “Thank you for your blood donations and prayers. I believe both are important,” David said.

November 2018 - Dee

When she was in high school, Dee was part of an organization that hosted blood drives. At that time, she made her first donation and has been in love with helping save lives ever since. “What could be better than giving someone another chance at life and good health?” Dee said. “I’m thankful to be able to help others in such a deep way.” 

December 2018 - Sawyer

At 18 months, Sawyer began experiencing symptoms associated with low blood counts, like bruising easily and excessive bleeding from a small cut. She spent two weeks in the hospital and received many blood transfusions. Sawyer’s diagnosis was aHUS, a rare genetic condition, but she is thankfully doing better now. "She is now thriving thanks to blood donations that helped her make a full recovery," her mom, Holly, says.

January 2019 - Danni, Cindy and Rikki

In summer 2016, a rare illness required Rikki to spend more than a month in the hospital. It was a difficult time for her loved ones, but the generosity of those who gave blood was a shining light in the dark. “Thanks to donors of blood, platelets, plasma and source plasma, my sister pulled through and was able to get back to work teaching at-risk students the following school year,” said her sister, Danni.

Cover 2018 - Rosa

It might be hard to tell by looking at their smiling faces, but brothers Jacob and Daniel were both born premature, one year apart. Their medical treatment included extended stays in the hospital and multiple blood transfusions. Commit for Life donations helped to make their smiles possible, and their mom, Rosa, couldn’t be more appreciative. “I am forever grateful for all donors. What they do is nothing short of amazing,” Rosa said.

Blood Center News
Netflix and save lives like a hero: Top 5 movie recommendations

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to help save more lives than ever in 2019. But those automated donations can take anywhere from an hour to an hour and a half. Mine, in particular, lean more toward the hour-and-a-half territory. What’s a girl to do? Watch Netflix movies and donate. And because I’m so thankful for your willingness to help us save lives, here are my top five recommendations for January.

Have you given a Holiday Hug?

One of the best parts of the Holiday Hugs tradition is reading the notes our donors write for patients in the hospital over the holidays. It’s not an easy task as each patient has his or her own individual circumstance, so we’re restricted in which cards we tie to each bear. Still, many of our donors are well up to the task.

Every day, someone’s life is being saved.

By Tammie Riley 

I learned something the other day. Every day, someone’s life is being saved. I know that seems obvious, but let that sink in. What may be a normal Thursday for most could be something completely different for someone else. And that’s exactly what happened to donor Gary Gilson. Aug. 16 was one of the most important moments in Gary’s life. Not only did he save lives that day, but someone else saved the life of his loved one, as well.

Hospital tour highlights need

A 3-year-old girl lies in a hospital bed in the middle of the room with monitors attached to her bare chest. She’s awake, but she doesn’t lift her head as we walk into the room. Still, she follows us with her eyes. The only sound we hear from her is a small cough while a nurse comes in to check her stats.


The Blood Center teams up with Sickle Cell Association of Houston

The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center partnered with the Sickle Cell Association of Houston to host a blood drive Sept. 15 in recognition of Sickle Cell Disease Awareness Month.

Blood transfusion is one treatment used to combat complications from sickle cell disease, a form of anemia most likely to affect people of African descent. Prince and her now 27-year-old daughter, Quannecia McCruse, founded the Sickle Cell Association of Houston years ago to educate and provide resources to the community.


Drive and save lives

Penny, a local teacher with some free time over the summer, has helped us kick off our new Volunteer Driver program. Are you interested in joining us in our mission to save lives? Call us at (713) 791-6262 or email

Overcoming fear: Donating blood for the first time

I’m a scaredy-cat. I readily admit it. I hate needles. That’s always been my excuse for why I don’t volunteer for anything with a needle. Flu shot? No way. Vaccines? I still remember the sheer terror I felt from them growing up. 

We are always #HoustonStrong

We never know when the next tragedy will strike, but we have to be ready when it does come. 

Meet Eden

CYPRESS – There is nothing more American than baseball and saving lives. Everyone who participates in The Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center’s Home Run for Life competition will get a chance at both through June 30.


SuperMax is the hero Houston needs!

Max was born with a genetic disorder (neurofibromatosis type 1) that can cause tumors to grow on his nerve endings, and SuperMax has been his alter ego ever since. 

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center mourns Barbara Bush

Barbara Bush helped save lives in our community, and we celebrate her lifetime of accomplishments. The former First Lady set the bar high in her commitment to helping others.


Dr. Charles Drew: A Blood Banking Pioneer

Here at The Blood Center, we pride ourselves on being an organization of diversity. We work together to save and sustain lives, and we each bring a unique perspective when it comes to fulfilling our mission.

Tying the knot and saving lives

Hurricane Harvey destroyed homes, cars and many other things, but one thing it couldn’t destroy is the compassion for others in newlywed couple Gilbert and Stefanie Cruz. Gilbert and Stefanie were set to get married just a few days after Harvey passed, but due the storm’s aftermath they had to alter all of their plans on a moment’s notice.


Blood on ambulances helps EMS agencies save more lives

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has partnered with two local agencies providing emergency medical services to help save more lives when time is of the essence, now administering whole blood to patients on the ground.

Donor coaches hit the road sporting new look, features

In the last two years, five of The Blood Center's donor coaches have been refurbished. Find out why this is such an important process.

Circle of Life Bike Tour celebrates life

The Lone Star Circle of Life bike tour visits Texas cities to raise awareness of the need for blood, marrow, organ and tissue donations to honor those impacted by these donation types. This year’s eight-day, 600-mile tour included stops in Houston and College Station.

Blood Center Resources

Our mission is to partner with the community to save and sustain lives by providing a safe supply of blood, blood components and related services.

Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center
1400 La Concha Lane
Houston, TX 77054

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