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Release of Likeness

Following a tradition set by their fathers, this fun-loving couple donates blood to save lives.

Jerry and Connie Gustofson have been inspired to donate blood by their fathers, who were both life-long blood donors.

At 19, Connie first started giving blood and donated regularly until a series of surgeries prevented her from being able to continue for a period of time. Jerry also started giving blood when he was young but stopped when he entered the military service, since donating blood on the base was not an option at the time.

However, when this couple heard that Memorial Blood Centers was hosting a blood drive at the Extreme Makeover-Home Edition site near their home in August 2009, they decided this was their moment to get back into giving life-saving blood. They brought their daughter Dana who gave blood for the first time once she learned that her rheumatoid arthritis didn’t prohibit her from being a blood donor.

Jerry and Connie now donate regularly again and are proud that the family tradition of blood donation continues to be passed down. Connie’s employer, Saint Mary’s Hospital of Superior, encourages this commitment by allowing employees to donate blood during work hours in Memorial Blood Centers’ on-site donor center.

“My parents donated blood,” Jerry says. “And when I needed to have a kidney removed, I didn’t know if I would need blood. But it doesn’t hurt to give blood and it helps someone else—even if you may not be the one who needs it. I figure, why not? I can spare a pint every now and then!” “And it takes such a short time!” adds Connie.