New York

Woman meets blood donor who helped save her life: “Extremely and inexplicably grateful”

NEW YORK — September is Sickle Cell Awareness Month, and Monday, two ladies linked by the present of life lastly received to fulfill for the primary time.

There have been hugs and gratitude as Shatera Weaver met Christine van Benschoten, the lady who donated blood for her life-saving therapy.

“I am extremely and inexplicably grateful for you and everyone, and I implore other people to join the ranks and get to donate blood,” Weaver informed van Benschoten.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 100,000 Americans, together with 10,000 New Yorkers, dwell with sickle cell. The dysfunction impacts largely African Americans.

It causes some purple blood cells to turn into deformed right into a sickle form and die. Those cells clog the blood circulation and can result in infections or strokes.

Patients like Weaver depend on blood transfusions to remain wholesome.

“It is what gives me my strength back. It revitalizes me and then I can get back to my life when that happens, so it really is interesting to see the person, meet the person. That’s never happened before, so it’s a surreal moment,” she stated.

Van Benschoten, 72, says she began donating blood recurrently years in the past.

“It’s a chance to show that little old 72-year-old ladies can get out and donate,” she stated.

The second the 2 met was emotional for donor specialist Karlene Darby, who collected the life-saving donation.

“It’s just overwhelming and heart-rending,” she stated.

Van Benschoten desires everybody to know that donating is simple.

“The people at the center where I donate are wonderful, and they give you cookies,” she stated.

For extra info on methods to donate blood, go to

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