UCLA patient Shirley Polk, 67, whose liver and kidney failed due to an acute autoimmune disease last summer, had the chance to meet the 59 strangers whose blood donations at the UCLA Blood & Platelet Center helped make her life-saving organ transplants possible. Her experience mirrors the diversity of Los Angeles. Shirley is African American, her surgeon is Egyptian and her donors include compassionate individuals who hail from Syria, Iran, Turkey, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, as well as three Latino teenagers from Verdugo High. Donating blood to a stranger is a different way to tell a story of humanity and unity at a time when Americans face political divisiveness and a rising fear of foreigners.
To make an appointment for a life-saving blood and/or platelet donation, click here.