The Greatest Gift Costs Nothing To Give
It was 1958, and Paul Saucedo was 17 years old. A strapping 200-pound teenager, Paul was now too weak to get out of bed. He had been diagnosed with a duodenal ulcer. After one week in the hospital and six pints of blood, however, he was back on the road to health.
The road was smooth until 1963, when, once again, the ulcer began to bleed. This time, Paul needed just four pints of blood, and again, miraculously, he was healthy again.
Almost three decades passed, and then in 1991, Paul became very ill, and the diagnosis was more severe. He had hepatitis C, a debilitating disease that often damages the liver. Over the next four years, he would be hospitalized 25 times and receive numerous pints of blood until a 1995 liver transplant returned him again to his family and his health.
At the age of 37, Gemma Green was a busy prosecutor in the office of the Washoe County District Attorney. Her hectic life came to a dramatic pause when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Her illness was so severe that she was given only a few weeks to live.
She began months of chemotherapy, eventually receiving 13 units of blood. United Blood Services, working with the hospitals and doctors caring for her, was able to collect and test directed donations — blood donated specifically for her by friends and family.
Gemma made an amazing recovery and for two years was cancer-free. Then in 1996, she experienced a recurrence of Hodgkin's lymphoma. Again, United Blood Services was able to collect and process blood from her family and friends to help her fight the deadly disease. Gemma now has returned to her full-time career as a prosecutor and is enjoying life with her new husband.
Stories like Gemma's and Paul's are made possible by the blood donations made by thousands of people to thousands of people with similar stories. Donors may be loved ones, frequent donors who belong to the one-gallon club or one-time participants in an employer blood drive.
No matter from whom, or the motivation, blood is the gift of life. United Blood Services has served Northern Nevada and the eastern Sierra for 43 years, and remains this area's sole provider.
In 1956, the Washoe County Medical Society, perhaps envisioning the growth of the community, invited United Blood Services to serve the area's burgeoning blood needs. At that time, United Blood Services was a 13-year-old network of community blood centers headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona.
United Blood Services now serves 22 hospitals in a 23-county area with 2,500 units of blood and blood components each month.
Through 20 community blood centers, United Blood Services' parent company, Blood Services, Inc. provides more than 750,000 units of blood components annually to patients in more than 600 hospitals in 18 states, serving a population of some 15 million people.
Each blood center operates under the guidance of a locally selected physician who provides professional support. Administrative management is provided by careful people who are responsible for the safe and effective operation of the blood center.
All blood components are provided by generous volunteer donors who are concerned about their community health needs -- or the specific needs of someone they love. Blood, as a community resource, must be available before it is needed. It takes up to 24 hours to prepare some blood components.
Each blood center strives to maintain a 15-day supply of blood at all times. To achieve this in our area, a minimum of 100 blood donations are needed every day.
United Blood Services remains a division of Blood Systems, Inc., a 501c3 tax-exempt organization, a classification shared by many service and charitable organizations. Operating income is derived through reimbursement for the cost of services provided to patients and building funds are generated by corporate and private donations. All donations are tax deductible.
United Blood Services, and Blood Systems, Inc. are not-for-profit organizations. A founding member of the American Association of Blood Banks and the America's Blood Centers, United Blood Services is federally inspected and licensed.