The Brooks Family

For the first time I am going to stray from my usual topics of unsolved murders, Cold Case Units, and Kathy’s Law. I am going to write about donating blood, it can save a life.

Recently I received a phone call from the Red Cross. I thought it strange that they would be contacting me. Could something be wrong with the blood I recently donated?

Not long ago I decided to donate blood for the first time.  I’m not sure why I had never done it before but it was something I’ve thought of doing numerous times.

One day I saw the mobile unit set up in a parking lot. I drove by and then turned around and decided today was the day. They asked me if I had an appointment. “Oh no I don’t” I replied.  They assured me it was fine and to come in. I filled out some paper work, answered some questions, and waited for my turn. It was pretty simple and painless.

The phone call from the Red Cross was to talk to me about donating plasma and platelets.  I had received my donor card and it said my blood type is AB positive.  To me it meant nothing but to the Red Cross it means everything.

The man on the phone explained to me that because of my blood type I was a “universal recipient” but more importantly I was a “universal plasma donor” and I could help save the lives of burn, trauma, and cancer patients. He continued to ask me if I was interested in knowing more and I said absolutely.

Cancer patients?  My mind immediately focused on Melissa Brooks a Pastor’s wife and a beautiful mom of four who is fighting Double-Hit Lymphoma.  Recently diagnosed, Melissa just finished round two of Chemotherapy and enters round three next week.

Melissa is blogging about her journey and her love for the Lord is evident.  Her and her husband’s faith spill out onto the pages they pen. Many have rallied around them in prayer and support.  I would like to share part of a recent blog. 

Mark and Melissa Brooks

http://hbcedarburg.org/melissa/  (Follow Melissa’s Blog)

“It’s been a week, so time for an update.  Round 2 involved a whole different set of chemo weapons, and they proved to be a bit more difficult for Melissa than the first round.  We’re not sure if it’s because of the new chemo or because she wasn’t as strong as she was for Round 1.  There have been more side effects this time, some quite trying.  For instance, she spent two days with sunglasses on in a dark room because the chemo purging through her tear ducts irritated her eyes so much.  Her red blood cells plunged lower this time, and she had to have a blood transfusion on Saturday.  She’ll have to get platelets tomorrow.  Tomorrow is a big day–labs, examination, and lumbar puncture with chemo, platelets, PET scan.  The scan is of course a very big deal. The Doc expects it to show negative for cancer, so it will be a setback if it proves to be otherwise.”

To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.  ~Barbara Bush

How important is it to be a donor? Very important!  I encourage anyone whether they are a universal donor or not to help save a life by giving blood. Contact your local Red Cross!

The universal plasma donor has Type AB positive blood type.

AB+ donors can receive blood from any blood type, so they are called “universal recipients.” In addition, AB plasma donors can give to all blood types, so AB donors are called “universal plasma donors.”

What Is a Plasma Donation?

Plasma is one of the key blood components needed for modern medical practice. During a plasma donation, blood is drawn from one arm and channeled through a sterile, single-use collection set to an automated machine. The machine collects select components – plasma only, or a combination of plasma and platelets units – and then safely returns the remaining blood components, along with some saline to you.

Should You Be a Plasma Donor?If you are a donor with Type AB blood: In addition to donating platelets, your blood type makes you an ideal candidate for donating plasma.Type AB plasma is universal which means your plasma can be received by anyone, regardless of their blood type. And because you are among only 4% of the population with this blood type, it makes your plasma in need. Plasma products are used by burn, trauma and cancer patients.Because of your blood type, a plasma donation can be collected simultaneously with a platelet donation. Plasma can potentially be collected once per month. As always, a Red Cross collections specialist will best match your individual donation with hospital patient needs in the community at the time of your procedure.

Plasma is collected simultaneously with a platelet donation and is collected at select American Red Cross Blood Donation Centers only.

You can donate every 28 days, up to 13 times per year. The average donation takes 1 hour and 15 minutes. If you are a platelet/plasma donor, you can still make regular whole blood or double red cell donations. Both gifts are vital for patients with life threatening diseases.

Call 1-800-RED-CROSS for additional information or to schedule an appointment at a select American Red Cross Blood Donation Center near you.


    1. Your welcome Ken. I’m praying for all of your family. In times like these God brings us to a place only He can, a place traveled with Him alone.


  1. Karen,

    Thank you for sharing the reasons behidnd your blood donations and for sharing Mark and Melissa ‘s journey with us. Prayers lifted on their behalf and may many be inspired to donate. Our church hosts a blood drive with the Red Cross throughout the year.Due to low iron I have only given once yet it is the words of my pastor that echo in my head. We are not giving blood one time but instead saving multiple lives, possibly one like Melissa ‘s.

    Beautiful blog,
    Lisa M Buske
    http ://lisabuske.weebly.com


    1. Lisa,
      I’m glad that I donated. All these years I hadn’t taken into consideration the wide range in which donations are used. It’s definitely another way to make a difference!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s