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 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
"I hope that being a Commit for Life donor and encouraging others to donate will ensure blood will always be available," James says. His blood type is AB, making him the universal donor for plasma, a blood component frequently needed to treat patients suffering from burns, shock or other trauma. As Houston is home to a world-class medical center that treats many traumas, plasma is in constant demand. "If we belong to such a proud city, we have to do everything we can to look out for our neighbors."
February 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Officers of the Galveston Police Department are proud to serve their community - whether keeping its citizens safe or helping ensure an adequate blood supply. "As law enforcement officers, we have taken an oath to protect and serve," says Sgt. A. Almendarez. "Donating blood and hosting blood drives are just another way to serve."
March 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Volunteerism is more than a way of giving back for these siblings - it's also how they honor their mother's memory. Their mother battled illness for many years, occasionally receiving blood transfusions. "We have a passion for our volunteer work with The Blood Center," Montserrat says. "We thank all the donors; without them, it might have been an earlier departure for our mom."
April 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Thomas has been the reciient of blood donors' generosity multiple times - first, as a survivor of lymphoma 15 years ago, and now as he manages an immune disorder by taking a medication made from blood products. Source plasma, a new donation type available at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, is used in the creation of medicines like those needed by Thomas. "This treatment is essential for me stay alive," Thomas says. "I can literally say you are saving my life when you donate blood."
May 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Many young adults lose their focus on community service after high school, which often provides the most convenient opportunities for students to donate blood. Mindy, however, has made it a priority to visit her Neighborhood Donor Center whenever she is eligible to give. In fact, she considers it a privilege to do so. " I Commit for Life because I have healthy blood to give," Mindy says. "Not everyone is lucky and healthy enough to give blood, so being a qualifying donor is an amazing thing."
June 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Lance takes a lot of pride in being able to help others - so much so that in addition to donating blood regularly, he has committed to support The Blood Center as a Commit for Life volunteer at area blood drives. In his role as a Thank-You Crew volunteer, he has the opportunity to provide prospective blood donors with the inspiration and education to join him in saving lives. "I want to make an impact on someone," he says. "I can wake up every day knowing that I have kept someone alive."
July 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Alyssa was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma at age 12 but triumphed over the cancer after a year-and-a-half battle that included numerous transfusions of blood and platelets - a component often needed by cancer patients. Today, Alyssa is busy planning for her quinceanera. "Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center was a vital part of my treatments," she says. "I will forever be gracious for the Commit for Life donors who gave me that boost to continue fighting."
August 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Kevin pledged to Commit for Life after losing his father to cancer in 2001. "I did not realize how valuable blood donations were to the community until I watched my father receive transfusions every other day," he says. "I now donate on a regular basis and encourage family and friends to do so as well." As Kevin has shared his father's story and his own donation experiences over the years, he is proud to have inspired many of his colleagues to Commit for Life alongside him.
September 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Every year, Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center grants scholarships to local students. Yessica was among the winners of the 2015 Commit for Life Scholarship. "No matter how you look, what job you have or how much money you make, you have that special gift that you can share with anyone," she wrote in her winning essay. High school students are some of The Blood Center's most dedicated lifesavers, accounting for 20 percent of mobile blood collections. We are proud to give back to the community in this way.
October 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Elizabeth is eternally grateful to the blood donors who helped save her father, daughter and grandson. "I just can't thank these people enough for the blessings they have given to my family and me," she says. Because she knows how important it is, Elizabeth Commits for Life by donating her O-negative blood, a type found in only 7 percent of the population and highly needed in emergencies. She hopes to be a blessing to patients as others have been to her.
November 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Five-year-old Carter was born with a rare anemia condition and requires frequent transfusions to treat and prevent further complications. He may not understand how blood donations help him, but his family is extremely grateful. After seeing the difference that regular blood transfusions have made for Carter, his father, Kendrick, has committed to regularly donate blood in his honor. "I make it a priority to Commit for Life because I want him and other children in need to live long and prosperous lives," Kendrick says.
December 2016 Commit for Life Calendar
Lucas was born with a condition that required open-heart surgery before he even celebrated his first birthday. Although it was a challenging time for his family, they were comforted in knowing there was an adequate blood supply. "Because of Commit for Life donors, we didn't have to worry that our son wouldn't receive the blood he needed," says Christina, Lucas' mother. "We were able to take home our happy baby boy who continues to smile and bring joy to everyone around him."