Skip To Content

Continuing a Black Friday Blood Donation Tradition in Memory of Her Sister

Erin has fond memories of her Black Friday blood donation tradition with her big sister, Kyle. Since Kyle passed away from bladder cancer in 2013, Erin has been hosting blood drives in her honor.

For years, Erin and her sister, Kyle, had a special Black Friday tradition. They’d head out very early in the morning to shop the holiday specials and when they were done, eat breakfast and stop to donate blood. Eventually, the blood donation tradition fell by the wayside - family obligations and life have a way of sidetracking even the best of intentions.

“I still remember the freezing cold mornings, working our way through craft shops to find the items needed to make that ‘perfect’ gift - and then off for food and donation times,” Erin said. “I'll have to admit that sometimes our breakfast WAS the snacks in the canteen - but shhh - don't tell anyone!”

Sadly, Kyle passed away in December 2013 from bladder cancer. Erin continues to donate blood, and began coordinating blood drives, too, in honor of her sister.

As a blood drive coordinator, or host, Erin can save even more lives. Hosting a blood drive entails setting up a specific time and place for others to come and donate blood, then promoting it to family, friends and colleagues. Blood drives can be held at a community site or at a Vitalant donation center or bloodmobile.

All that’s needed to host a blood drive is a passion like Erin’s for saving lives, and a willingness to spread the word and encourage people to donate. Vitalant helps with the details, providing the staffing, snacks and materials to help blood drive hosts promote their drives.

“Now I donate and host drives for Kyle. It's not something I shout from the rooftops - but it's a way to remember cold mornings in November and time with my big sister,” she said. “I wish I'd thought to have a picture taken one of those times we were sitting in the donation chairs but it's just not something that ever occurred to us.”

Erin has already persuaded one of her children to get involved in donating blood and help with blood drives, continuing the family tradition. He donates Power Red. “He'll be the one to carry on the blood donations; I'm happy with that,” Erin said.

Start your own Black Friday or special family tradition by donating blood together. Or host a blood drive in honor or memory of a family member. It’s a great way to get into the spirit of giving during the holiday season, and best of all, you’ll be saving lives!

Published by: Taitia S. — Vitalant Contributor

Article published for the Vital Donor newsletter.