Nearly every second of every day, someone is assisted by the American Red Cross, and some of those people have generously shared their unique personal experiences. Two stories stand out this Mother’s Day to put a face behind the person you could help save by donating blood.

In June 1994, when she was 28 years old, Noelle Gardner hemorrhaged while giving birth to her son. Blood donations helped save her life. Here, Noelle and her family share what those blood donations mean to them.

“Before this happened to me, I would never give blood. But I’m so thankful everybody didn’t think the way I did, or I would have died. So after that, I give blood now.”

In 1997, while living in Minnesota, Randi Mitchell lost a lot of blood while giving birth. Blood donations helped save her life. Randi remembers that moment and what it means to her and her family to have been able to spend the last 15 years with her wonderful sons.

Her son Henry addressed Red Cross blood donors, saying, “Thank you for my mom. I don’t know what I’d do without her, so thank you.”

“It’s really emotional for me,” said Randi. “I feel so lucky to have survived that day and have the rest of this life to be a Mom. I’m very thankful.”

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How to donate

To help patients like new mothers across the country, blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit Donors can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, which is free and available for download now. It can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting or, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download. Message and data rates for texting may apply.

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