Since 2012, Lauren Wager has been a dedicated Unyts blood and platelet donor. Lauren began her journey with Unyts as a blood donor who wanted to give back in memory of a close friend. Lauren celebrates her birthday every year with a trip to donate with Unyts! According to Lauren her motivation for continuing to donate has evolved over the years.
“I have many friends and family members who have been sick or injured and required the help of Unyts, and I certainly keep that in mind when I am donating. I have come to really appreciate the high demand for platelets and blood donation, and it has driven me to continue donating and recruiting others to do the same,” Lauren said. “I donate exclusively platelets now, and every single time I donate, I can go to sleep that night knowing that my efforts have made a difference to someone who really needed it. There are so many people who need blood and platelets every single day, and it is extremely rewarding to contribute to such a worthwhile cause.”
“Donating makes me feel so sure of my ability to make a difference in the world, and that carries over into the rest of my life. It's very easy to feel powerless when it comes to big problems, but donating with Unyts makes me feel like every small action I take is worth it,” Lauren explained.
Her experience with Unyts has actually inspired Lauren to pursue a career in the medical field. She knows that she can’t fix everything by herself, but recognizes that she can certainly make a difference!
“Being part of the Unyts family has also given me a lot of perspective with regard to just how lucky I am to be in good health at this stage of my life, and I have vowed to take advantage of every day while I am still so lucky! Since starting with Unyts, I have begun running marathons and doing Ironman triathlons, and I am so grateful that I am well enough to do such activities.”
Lauren knows that you might be on the fence about donating to Unyts, but said that it’s worth it for the free snacks…kidding! “Donating is much easier than you expect, and it is also much more rewarding than you can possibly imagine. Start donating today, and you will be hooked! Remember that the people who need your donation are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, children, grandparents, friends, etc. of real people. Try putting yourself in the position of the person in need or their family members, and you will realize that a little needle and a small time commitment isn't all that scary after all!
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