For Luis Mayer, a father of three young children living near Matamoros, Mexico, life is busy. In addition to caring for his family, Luis has a construction job to earn money and help cover his tuition as he works towards a college degree in psychology – a field where he is confident that he will be able to help people.
Laboring on job sites during the day and studying at night, he stays focused on his goals and providing for his family.
About four years ago, a friend of his shared a story about a relative who was sick and needed a plasma-based medicine to get better. The friend told Luis about plasma donation and how important it was and how it is truly a lifesaving act. He also shared that plasma donors receive payments, and it was a good way to receive some extra money.
Inspired by his friend, Luis gave it a shot and quickly became a regular donor.
Once every two weeks for the past few years, Luis made the short trip across the border to donate plasma at a center in Brownsville, Texas. Donating made him feel great – like he was helping someone while getting rewarded at the same time. The extra money helped with his household budget, covering costs for food staples like meats and dairy products. He was able to purchase higher-quality, more durable clothing in the U.S. for his children.
Due to changes in U.S. border policy, Luis is no longer able to donate plasma in Brownsville or elsewhere in the U.S.
“It made me feel good to donate regularly and know that I was making an impact and helping someone who is sick,” said Luis. “Now not being able to donate has affected my ability to provide for my family.”
If border policies change, Luis is eager to begin donating again at his regular center in Brownsville. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to help others by donating previously and is hopeful he will have that opportunity again soon.
"Nemo also has a very special and personal motivation for donating plasma – his 13-year old daughter, Daniela."