Kristen's story is different compared to the ones we normally share. She's never donated blood. But she's received it; a lot of it.
"I am the recipient of 26+ units of blood that saved my life and without it I wouldn't be here," Kristen explained. "I developed DIC after I had an emergency c-section at 29.5 weeks pregnant with twins. I had 2 additional surgeries and I spent a week in critical condition where I received blood and platelet donations. The hospital actually ran out of blood and more had to be brought in."
Kristen said that she never donated blood before needing it because she always thought that someone else would do it.
"I was always scared to donate and thought someone else would donate and I didn't need to. I see it a lot different now," Kristen said. "If those people wouldn't have donated, I wouldn't be here. I know my story is different, but I am passionate about spreading the word of blood donations!"
Kristen can't donate because of low platelets, but she encourages everyone that can donate to give.
"You will never know where your blood goes, but I want you to think of the recipient, the mother, the wife, the daughter, the sister, the friend, the woman whose life you could drastically change. You may never know her, but I can promise, she thinks of you daily and thanks the universe you decided to donate."
Headquartered in downtown Buffalo and established in 1981.
Unyts is among the leading procurement organizations in the United States, and is one of the only eight centers nationwide to house organ, tissue and eye procurement in one location. With the addition of Community Blood Service, Unyts has become the first organization of its kind nationwide. Unyts operates as a non-profit serving the eight counties of Western New York and works to assist donor families, coordinate the donation process and increase knowledge and awareness within the community regarding transplantation.
Unyts routinely has helped to secure higher rates of donation in Western New York than the national average. When approached following the death of a loved-one for organ donation, Western New York families are very generous. In 2014 the Unyts conversion rate was 81.5%– the national average was 63.2%. Due to these numbers, Unyts is ranked as one of the top procurement organizations nationwide. As recently as 1997, Unyts had just 200 donors; in 2014 the organization surpassed 1,200.
The organization’s network and success have gone hand-in-hand, and as a result, Unyts has been able to spread the message that transplantation is vital – and transplantation saves lives. Unyts is currently headed by President & CEO Mark Simon, and Chair of the Board of Directors David Carlson.
*As of January 1, 2012, Unyts operates under, d/b/a Unyts, WNY’s only Organ, Eye, Tissue and Community Blood Center. We are no longer Upstate NY Transplant Services.
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110 Broadway, Buffalo, NY 14203