Plasma donor since 2008, Victoria Picone exceeds 1500 donations

Victoria Picone enjoys spending time playing pickleball and volunteering in her community. One of her favorite ways to give back and help others is by donating plasma. Picone was not familiar with plasma donation prior to a friend sharing the news that her granddaughter was born with an immune deficiency that required plasma therapy. As soon as Picone was asked to help, she went straight to the plasma center nearby and began donating. While her friend's granddaughter is doing well now and has not needed plasma in years, Picone continues to donate religiously. In fact, because of her consistency over the past 15 years, she has logged over 1500 donations. 

What keeps Picone coming back week after week, besides the pride in her effect on so many people's lives, is the community she has built at the center. Every week, she gets to engage with employees and donors. She loves comforting first-time donors and holding their hand if they are afraid or skittish. She loves hearing patients’ stories when they visit the center. She says many employees and donors have grown a bond in the hours they’ve logged together over the years, walking through births, deaths, cancers, divorce, and other life events. Picone’s friendships are so strong with some regulars she even gets together with them outside of the plasma donation center. One of the center employees recently made a wedding cake for Picone's best friend.

Mostly, Picone says that her donations go very smoothly, though occasionally, the new blood pressure machines her facility received misread her blood pressure, causing her to miss that day's donation. While some deferrals are for longer periods of time, blood pressure deferral is only for one day. 

If anyone is considering donating for the first time, Picone urges them not to be scared and says to “have an open mind.” If donors do a bit of research, they will see what great benefits plasma donation has and the effect it can have on so many different people's lives. While she would love to end the stigma that folks only donate to make ends meet financially, she also says, “What could be better than helping people and getting compensated for it?” Picone often passes along the compensation she receives to other charity organizations in her community that she is passionate about, such as Paws of War and Rubys Rescue. 

This short hour twice a week is not only a gift to the individuals who receive the plasma she donates but to Picone as well. For one hour twice a week, she can unplug from any stress or busyness and relax. She passes the time by reading a book, doing a puzzle, or just catching up with old friends.

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