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Release of Likeness

 “Two open heart surgeries when I was just 16. But blood donors gave me hope and the chance of living a happy life. That’s why I stepped up to coordinate blood drives at my high school and encourage my friends and family to give.”—Amy Yang

Open heart surgery one week after Amy’s 16th birthday. Three months later, a heart attack and two more surgeries followed. Multiple blood transfusions saved Amy’s life. And to honor those blood donors who so generously gave in her time of need, Amy stepped up to coordinate blood drives at her high school and now encourages everyone she meets to give for others who need blood to survive.

“During my last surgery, doctors inserted a pacemaker into my heart and it took about a year of physical therapy to make a full recovery,” Amy recalls. “Once I got back to my active routine of cheerleading and tennis and hanging out with friends at school, I realized I had a great opportunity to give something back to the community of blood donors who helped save my life. I could start coordinating blood drives at my high school, Park Center Senior High.”

Amy began a partnership with Memorial Blood Centers to engage other young people in the cause of blood donation. In her role as a high school blood drive coordinator, she put her leadership skills to good use as she created a Blood Drive Committee and recruited fellow students to participate, organized drive details with school advisors and sponsors, and promoted the event to sign up as many volunteer blood donors as possible.

“Blood donation is very personal for me,” Amy says. “I know I wouldn’t be here today without the blood I received from volunteer donors. And that’s why I want to give back. I also know how important it is to start donating as soon as you can, to get into the habit of volunteering as a blood donor and carrying that forward as we become adults. Now that 16 year-olds can donate—with their parents’ permission—my generation is becoming more and more critical to ensuring that a safe and stable community blood supply is available for all those who need it. I believe that we need to do our part.”

Read more about Amy's Story.

Find out more about how you can volunteer to coordinate blood drives in the community. Learn more at Host a Drive.