Plasma donor gets hooked after switching to a new plasma facility.

Seth Roush has donated plasma more than 150 times in the past two years after first becoming aware of its lifesaving power during a mission trip. In 2007, while on a mission trip in Jamaica, Seth Roush became friends with a woman who needed plasma due to liver failure. While she could travel to the coast for medical care, weekly treatments made the travel unsustainable for her in the long term. 

Roush believed his friend was going to die from this treatable condition because of the lack of medical facilities in her area. He and others in the mission organization raised funds to acquire a machine that would allow her to receive her therapeutic plasma exchange at the medical facility in her community. 

Indirectly, Roush’s friendship ultimately allowed numerous people to access plasma exchange therapy who wouldn't have received this life-saving care otherwise. Plasma exchange is used to treat many diseases; in the case of liver failure, it aids in removing toxins and dampens the body's inflammatory responses. 

Seeing how having safe and reliable access to her plasma exchange treatments changed his friend's life, Roush began donating plasma himself, though not consistently at first. It wasn't until a couple of years ago, after Roush went to a different plasma donation center, that he really became invested. He credits the “extremely kind and helpful” staff that “remember your name and greet you with a friendly smile.” Roush also shared that he has “met several people [at the center] who have been very personally impacted by plasma donors.” Some staff rely on plasma-derived therapy or have family members who do. Many donors share stories of family members who require plasma as well. 

Roush wants people to know that when you personally know people who survive and thrive because of the lifesaving power of plasma, you really do feel like a hero. He said, “I am humbled that I can spend 2-3 hours a week donating plasma knowing that someone else is receiving hope and healing for their bodies.”

Despite being “typically a wuss about needles and blood” himself, Roush would not hesitate to recommend plasma donation to anyone else who feels uneasy about these things. The staff at his regular donation center have given him confidence and courage by earning his trust over the past few years that they are well-trained and well-led. As a leader of people himself, overseeing a church congregation of 600, Roush was blown away by how professional the staff are with each other as well as donors, treating everyone with care and respect. Roush recommends trying a different facility if you have tried plasma donation and had an experience that was chaotic or understaffed—you might get hooked too! 

The only issue he has ever had was in the beginning. There were a few times he received a deferral for elevated heart rate. He has learned over time that as long as he goes first thing in the morning, before the stressors of the day kick in, he is always good to go. Seth Roush lives a humble life in central Pennsylvania with his wife and four children, pastoring a local church community. It doesn't take anything special to become a plasma donor. Outside of the donation center, Roush lives an ordinary life, playing music with his friends, hosting bonfires for his neighbors, and taking his kids to the beach in their minivan. Anyone can be a plasma donor! 

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