For Ysemia Ochoa and her 17-year-old daughter Marikssa Zambrono of Cottage Grove, donating blood is a family affair.
Ysemia received a life-saving blood transfusion at age 16 when she was hospitalized with acute petechiae caused by low blood platelet count. She knew something was wrong when she broke out in a full-body rash and began bleeding from the mouth. Her family initially thought the bleeding was due to cuts from her braces, but her dentist sent her to the hospital when an examination revealed no obvious cause. She ended up in the intensive care unit. “It was the worst day of my life,” Ysemia recalls.
Years later, she makes a point of giving blood whenever possible. “I want to donate because I know the importance of it,” she says. “I’m here because somebody donated, and I want to do the same for someone else.”
Her daughter Marikssa started donating blood at 16. “My mom’s story has a part to do with it,” the high school senior says. “But I’m also a giving person. That’s what I want to do.”
Do you have a compelling story about why you give blood? Let us know in the comments.