Retiree's journey into a rewarding plasma donation routine

For years, Rebecca Martin's sister was bedridden, her life severely impacted by a debilitating health condition. Eventually, Martin's sister found a regimen of plasma-derived infusions that has allowed her to regain much of her life including her beloved career as a medical chaplin. During this time, Martin couldn't help but notice the numerous ads on social media promoting plasma donation. As a retiree, she found she had plenty of time to give it a try, and two years ago she got involved and began donating plasma twice a week.

Martin and her sister live together, so while donating plasma has become an excellent routine for getting out of the house and socializing during retirement, she remains vigilant about not bringing germs home that could jeopardize her sister's health. She says she is “afraid to bring germs into the house” and this is one of the ways her sister's diagnosis has impacted her life. She has also had to make adjustments in her life to accommodate her plasma donation commitment. To continue donating twice a week, one of the most significant things Martin must be mindful of is placing ice on her IV sites after each visit to minimize bruising, as the center defers any donors with visible bruises saying that she “holds ice on her arm most of the rest of the day.”

Martin’s routine is to wake up at 5 a.m. to be first in line, as the lines can be unpredictable throughout the day. With the new machines, the center has installed, she can be in and out of the donation chair in just 25-30 minutes if she doesn't have to wait in a long line of donors!

According to her center's donor portal, Martin has already aided over 75 people who need plasma-derived therapies. However, even though Martin is the one helping others, she says she is grateful because donating plasma "helps me lead a healthy life to have prime donated plasma!" 

While the compensation for her time donating is certainly a nice bonus, it is the people she helps with each donation that keep her coming back. Martin would recommend anyone able to start donating plasma today, and with the motivation of saving lives, you may even get hooked just like she has.

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