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What if this is the one that helps cure cancer?

“What if this is the one?” Anne thinks. “What if this is the one that helps cure cancer?”

In the short time I’ve been at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center, I’ve met some fantastic people who are passionate about saving lives and serving our community. 

Anne is meticulous when she works with units of buffy coats that are sent out to researchers nationwide. (Buffy coats are a tiny fraction of blood that contains mostly white blood cells.) 

The white blood cells in buffy coats, or source leukocytes, are used by doctors in a variety of research, from looking for a cure for cancer to studying how to eliminate food allergies.

“What if this is the one?” Anne thinks. “What if this is the one that helps cure cancer?”

Anne, who was recently promoted to Component Tech II, has worked for The Blood Center two years. Working in the Component Lab means being on your feet all day and is tough work, but in front of her clients and co-workers, Anne manages to remain positive and cheerful, always willing to learn new things. Her “WOW” service has earned her many notes of thanks from research clients, and she soon will learn how to train new coworkers by attending the Training for Trainers course. 

She’s been passionate about collecting blood since she was student council treasurer of her high school in a small town in Missouri. Anne was the student in charge of the town’s only blood drive, which was conducted through the high school. She was mesmerized by the process. 

Anne was personally familiar with importance of donating blood. Her mom died after receiving chemotherapy to treat pancreatic cancer. In the last few months, her mom was dependent on blood products that gave her three more months with her family. Anne still gets emotional remembering that extra time. This is why in 2016, she applied here at The Blood Center.

So when she told a researcher for Japan about her mom, he was inspired.

“He was like ‘I’ve been in kind of a slump lately, and hearing that kind of helps me get back into what I really knew I needed to do,’” Anne remembered. “It’s really cool to talk to these people and find out what they’re doing, and I don’t think that a lot of people know that we do this.”

And that’s why Anne is meticulous at choosing the best possible products for distribution. 

“What if that scientist is right on the edge of some amazing cure of some sort, or some of the scientists are on early detection — to detect cancer,” Anne said. “If somebody has a breakthrough with something, it could change everybody’s lives.”

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About the Author

Julie’s work at Gulf Coast Regional Blood Center has given her the opportunity to meet amazing people in our community who are inspiring a new generation with their powerful stories of hope.

She previously spent more than a dozen years as a journalist in Laredo, the Rio Grande Valley, Corpus Christi, and the Houston suburbs. Currently, she and her husband, Dennis, reside in Katy.

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