What is Your Why? Blood Donor Bobby Lee’s Story

The beginning of summer in Michigan is such a wonderful time in Michigan – after spending so many months inside we get to go outside and ride, bike, swim, and play.

But what about those who are still in hospitals, waiting for lifesaving blood?

“No one wants to be sick, this is a way we can be with them – so no one goes through it alone.”

So says Bobby Lee, a long-time Red Cross blood and platelet donor in Michigan. And he knows very well the isolation some can feel when they are going through health issues. Bobby’s wife went through chemotherapy for breast cancer during COVID lockdown, and she had to go through it all alone due to hospital isolation rules. He remembers when his wife was so tired, and unable to do all she wanted to do. Thankfully, she is doing well now. But Bobby wants to share the love she was given during her time of need, by giving platelets on a regular basis, and sharing their story.

“No one can do everything – but everyone can do something,” Bobby says. “I’m healthy and I can give, so that is what I can do now. This is the best way that I can let someone with cancer or anything else know that I am walking with them, alongside them.”

One other thing he also knows – a lot of people are afraid of giving blood because of the unknown… a fear of pain, needles, anything. As someone who goes to give platelets as often as allowed, he is an expert on that issue.

“The Red Cross staff do such a great job. They know what they’re doing,” Bobby says.

“You might feel a pin prick – and they’ll tell you! That temporary discomfort is worth everything to someone else.”

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. And those needs do not diminish during disasters or pandemics. That patient could be a woman with an unexpectedly complicated birth, a mother or child battling cancer, an accident victim being raced to the ER, or so many other needs, every moment of the day. With the help of volunteer donors, the Red Cross stands ready to provide blood and blood products as needed in response to these ongoing emergencies both large and small.

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