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“Plasma donors give a priceless gift of love. They give and I live. Simple as that.” Quote form Alice, a plasma donation recipient.

Plasma is the miracle substance that lets me live. I need 1,000 donors a month for my intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusion, and I thank each donor for their generosity and courage. Their selfless act saves lives—and one of them is mine.

I had so many infections, I missed 122 days of work in one year

I started having a lot of severe infections, mostly during the winter months at first. Diagnosed with upper respiratory infections, I was given antibiotics over and over and kept ending up in the hospital with pneumonia. After missing 122 days of work in one year, I was referred to an immunology specialist. That was when my life was about to change forever.

My antibodies had oddly disappeared

After numerous medical visits and blood count tests, I found out I had a rare genetic disease called common variable immune deficiency (CVID). It only affects 1 out of 250,000 people and, what was truly baffling, I contracted it at age 54—which meant my antibodies had oddly disappeared. I knew I had to live a “new normal” life or wait for death to come knocking at my door.

IVIG plasma infusions let me live

I chose to live, and that means getting IVIG plasma infusions every 28 days. The IVIG is made from antibodies called immunoglobulins that help my body fight off infections. The infusions partially replace the antibodies my body should be making, but they need to be replenished every month and I’ll need them for the rest of my life. Fortunately, my home health service provides a wonderful nurse who administers each 4–5 hour infusion in the comfort of my home.

I now volunteer at plasma centers

After visiting a plasma center near me, I signed up for their Adopt-A-Patient program. I thank each donor and they’re amazed to see an actual patient, which lets them put a face on a plasma recipient. And I love speaking with the staff because they are the key to keeping donors motivated to keep giving. You can’t imagine how honored and privileged I am to be able to do this.

Alice practicing photography.

“Plasma is a miraculous substance that is making it possible to survive my autoimmune disease. Thanks to you, I can live and do the volunteer work that I love so much.”

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