Share Your Story

Release of Likeness

Says Lisa, a cancer survivor, blood recipient, and generous donor, “I knew it was my mission in life to give back, especially because I know how rare B-negative blood is."

When Lisa Brunner gave blood for the first time since college in 2007, this mother of three took extra pleasure in her donor status. “It felt really good to give back,” she recalled. “I had cancer, so I never thought I would be able to donate again. And since I have a rare blood type—B-negative—I know how important it is to keep those supplies up.”

In fact, Lisa is more aware than most of how critical it is to keep her blood type in supply. Her first experience as a blood recipient was after delivering her son. “Post delivery, my doctor said, ‘you’re doing great,’” Lisa remembers. “But shortly afterwards, I started hemorrhaging and had an emergency D&C. I was so weak. I couldn’t hold my new baby. I needed two transfusions before my hemoglobin was up to where it needed to be. And we didn’t yet know that I had a tumor in my colon.”

Three and a half months later, Lisa was preparing to host Christmas Eve. “Starting about 6:00 p.m., I was in excruciating pain that as each hour passed got worse and worse,” she said. “By 2:00 a.m., I could barely move. My husband got me into the car, brought the kids out one-by-one, and we drove to the hospital where I stayed for two months.” Once Lisa’s tumor was discovered, she went into surgery immediately and then septic shock. “I received multiple transfusions, because I was in the OR every other day and lost so much blood every time they operated,” Lisa added. “I finally came home on Valentine’s Day. After 12 rounds of chemo, I’m now cancer free.”

Lisa has a new appreciation for the smallest pleasures—and the importance of blood donations. “Every day, I count my blessings. Not a day goes by that I don’t listen to the birds sing and breathe the fresh air. People don’t know what it’s like when that’s taken away from you. I looked at a brick wall for two months. And until you’ve been to that place in your life, you don’t realize how crucial it is to keep our blood banks filled.”

Learn More
Lisa's Video Story