Circle of giving

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Susan Conklin Miller

Susan Conklin-Miller with her husband, Mark Miller

Susan Conklin-Miller knows the value of donated blood firsthand.

In 1974, while living in Ft. Collins, Colo., she became pregnant with a baby girl. A few weeks into the pregnancy, Susan was diagnosed with placenta previa, a condition that can cause severe bleeding before or during delivery.

She spent six months in and out of a hospital in Ft. Collins, where doctors performed several blood transfusions in an effort to save the pregnancy.

“I pretty much depleted the blood supply,” she said. She recalls a Kansas City trooper traveling across state lines to deliver blood for one of the transfusions.

Sadly, the baby did not survive despite doctors’ best efforts. “I still get emotional when I talk about it, even after all these years,” she said.

The experience prompted Susan to start donating blood. And when she moved home to Eugene in 1979, she learned that she had CMV negative blood, ideal for transfusions to newborns, pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

Since that discovery, she has donated 134 times with Lane Blood Center and she works to recruit new donors to make sure our area has a reliable blood supply for the people who need it, like she did.

We are grateful to Susan, and to every person who donates blood, whatever the reason. We couldn’t do it without you.

Author: Rebecca Taylor

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