(Editor’s note: This is a first-person account of choosing to make a blood donation for the holiday season.)

By Sharen Etienne-LeBeau, Office Assistant (Typing)
California State Prison-Solano

I decided this holiday season to give the gift of life instead of material items. On Wednesday, Nov. 30, I went to the Center of the Pacific Blood Bank to donate red blood cells, platelets (for cancer patients) and plasma for burn victims. While listening to people talk about their battle with cancer or assisting a family member with cancer, I decided it was a good time to make a difference for others that is life changing and not heavy on my wallet.

Cancer has affected most people so we can relate and appreciate any assistance to help our loved ones. My mother was a two-time breast cancer survivor and had I known about donating platelets then, I would have done all I could to assist her but she beat it with chemotherapy and radiology treatments.

Please consider giving the gift of life not only during the holiday season but all-year round.