Eilish Cumbo of Buffalo recently made her 56th blood donation on her 30th birthday! Cumbo has been an avid blood donor since she was 16 years old. Now she’s hoping she can inspire others to give! Here is her story.
“Growing up, my parents were both regular blood donors themselves. I remember going with them to appointments and the canteen volunteer telling my brothers and me that we could have a cookie, but only if we promised to donate blood ourselves when we were eligible. I made good on that promise when I started donating blood at the age of 16, and haven’t stopped yet.
I don’t have a specific story or instance to share on why I give blood, but I know that someone out there needs it, and that is enough of a reason for me. I have O- blood type, which is the universal donor, meaning that my blood can be given to anyone and is typically used in emergency rooms when they don’t have time to figure out a person’s blood type. Knowing that I am doing something small (and very easy!) to help others is what motivates me to donate, and what led me to join the Board of Directors for the WNY American Red Cross so that I can make an even greater impact on the community. And now with the Red Cross doing COVID-19 antibody testing on every blood donation, there is an even greater motivator to go out and donate blood.
Thinking back on all of my donations, it is remarkable to think of the impact I may have made on other’s lives. Every blood donation can help save up to 3 lives, so that is 168 people that may have been helped by my small action. Not a bad impact for fulfilling that promise to get a cookie.”
For more information on becoming a blood donor, visit www.redcross.org.