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 2017 - Cristela
The O-negative blood type is the universal red cell donor, which makes it ideal for treating trauma victims when there is no time to verify their type. Donors like Cristela are aware of this and take pride in helping to protect their community. “I like to help others, and knowing that donating my blood can save someone's life helps me feel great. Knowing that I made a difference in someone's life is the best reward I can receive,” she said.
February 2017 - Otis
Donating wasn’t always a priority for Otis, but since he learned of its importance, he has been an avid Commit for Life supporter. “Once I did my research on donating blood and the demand for it, I was really hooked. What greater gift is there in the world than giving life?” Otis said. Not only does he donate routinely with his employer, CenterPoint Energy, but he also hosts an annual blood drive with his motorcycle club to save even more lives.
March 2017 - Madeleine
Madeleine’s dream of playing soccer collegiately was changed after her cancer resurfaced. Instead of feeling defeated, she drew strength from her challenges and used it as motivation to help others. She is a 2016 Commit for Life scholarship winner and plans on going to school to become an oncologist to help those like her. “I will strive to be the best I can possibly be, so I can help others as they have done for me,” she said.
April 2017 - Yancey
In combination with donating blood, The Blood Center also depends on the community for volunteers to assist with different tasks, including spreading the word. Yancey is one of the people who goes the extra mile to help The Blood Center save as many lives as possible. He has been a Commit for Life Volunteer since 2012 and looks forward to continuing to help patients have a fighting chance.
May 2017 - Sheena and Ezra
Ezra was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease at just 15 months old. Source plasma was essential for the medicines used to treat his condition. It is the newest donation type The Blood Center collects, and the medicines it creates are not readily available in some parts of the world. Thanks to Commit for Life donors, that wasn’t a problem for Ezra. “I am thankful that we live in a place where people give blood and treatments are readily available,” his mother, Sheena, said.
June 2017 - Matthew
Different people donate for different reasons. For Mathew, the magnitude and simplicity of giving blood are more than good enough reasons to do so. “Fundamentally, it is such a small exercise on my part. Time. That's it. I am in and out in 30 minutes tops, but the gift helps far, far more than it costs me,” he said. The only regret he has about donating is that he didn’t do it sooner.
July 2017 - Eden
Eden was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer in June 2015. Blood and platelet transfusions are a vital part of her medical treatment. Your Commit for Life donations not only help Eden continue her battle but also helps to provide a sense of peace for her family. “Eden is just one person that needed lots of blood; there are so many that need blood, and it is free to give,” her mom, Shannon, said.
August 2017 - Spring High School
As donors, the Spring High School PALS group understands the importance of donating. They also understand that there is more they can do to help, and as a group, they strive to do so. They spend hours planning, marketing, educating and finding ways to sign up donors. “There is no greater reward for us than knowing that because of all the donations we worked for, someone lived to share and create more memories with their families,” said Jamie, Spring PALS’ sponsor.
September 2017 - Fred
Doing what you can to help others is a part of humanity that Fred strongly supports. He is glad to have found an enjoyable action he can take that has a major impact. “I donate blood regularly as a humanitarian act for my fellow man. It’s the right thing to do, and it is gratifying to know it is helping someone in need,” he said.
October 2017 - Erin, Kyle and Crew
Erin and Kyle received news that every parent dreads when they learned their son, Crew, was diagnosed with leukemia in 2015. Fortunately, they received the diagnosis just in time to help save Crew’s life. The donations that helped Crew inspire Erin to help others. As an AB donor, her plasma donations give other families the same comfort that she experienced knowing her son would be okay.
November 2017 - Jerry
Jerry was the third son born to his mother diagnosed with a severe immune deficiency and was the only one of them to live to see his first birthday. Thanks to medical treatment, source plasma donors and a bone marrow transplant, he has lived to see many more birthdays and is considered the oldest living person in Texas with his condition. “Donating really saves lives. Without donations, I don’t think I would be here today,” Jerry said.
December 2017 - Sophia
Young Sophia, right, with her siblings, learned that she was suffering from leukemia the day before Easter. The news was devastating to her and her family. Compassionate acts by family, friends and strangers since the diagnosis – like donating blood in her honor – are what helps her pull through. “You've helped save my life and thousands of other kids just like me. I will never be able to pay you back for your selflessness. Life is beautiful,” she said.