Paying it forward an hour and a half at a time

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For Cindy Hagen, donating plasma gives her a sense of paying it forward. It’s akin to the quick smile, the friendly conversation starter or the few seconds spent holding the door for someone. It’s these small things, such as plasma donation, that represent the softer parts of life.

After prodding from her daughter, who herself was a donor while in college, Hagen decided she had to try donating. Even from the beginning, it wasn't about personal benefit, as enticing as the benefits may be. It wasn't about the money or even the fact that donating has led her to make more health conscious choices.

Hagen says she is giving plasma because she knows her donation can help people. Plasma is currently being used to treat people with hemophilia, primary immune deficiency, shock or burns, rabies, tetanus, autoimmune diseases and much more. In fact, one of these therapies was first used during World War II to treat severe conditions and continues to be used on today’s battlefields for the treatment of wounded soldiers.

Plasma contains hundreds of essential proteins and antibodies that are vital to the body's ability to maintain critical functions, including controlling bleeding and fighting infections. Without enough of these proteins, a person could have a life-threatening illness. It takes from 130 to 1,200 plasma donations to treat just one person who may need plasma medicines for one year.

Hagen said she considers her plasma donations worthwhile if she can help give another person an improved life “If it helps one person, you know, it is kind of like a pay-it-forward.”

And she already has noticed the benefits to her own life: Because plasma donation requires a healthy donor, she finds herself cutting back on the coffee, increasing her water intake and choosing healthier foods.

Donor health and product safety are of utmost priorities. Only plasma from healthy, repeat donors is used to produce plasma-derived medicines. Donors receive a thorough health screening at each donation, including a physical exam at the first visit. Plasma donors are compensated for their time because of the commitment involved in being a regular plasma donor.

Hagen admitted that she doesn't really care which form a person’s generosity takes, she would just like to see people help each other. But she noted that giving plasma is an especially convenient way to help others. It’s easy and takes about an hour to an hour and a half.

Hagen said it has become a mission, and she’s even recruiting her husband to donate. “If it only takes you an hour and a half to help somebody, would you do it?”

To make a difference in someone’s life, donate at Grifols Plasma today! Learn more by visiting www.grifolsplasma.com or come by the Grifols Plasma Donor Center at 6582 University Avenue NE Fridley, MN or give us a call at 763-571-9166. Please be sure you bring a valid government-issued ID, proof of address, and social security card.

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