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Memphis blood transfusion recipient advocates for more donors

“Blood transfusions really save lives,” said Joy Brown.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Vitalant and the Junior League of Memphis (JLM) are on a mission to get more blood donors. The two organizations have partnered for a three-day blood drive. 

Every two seconds, someone needs blood. You never know when that someone might be you. 

Junior League of Memphis member, Joy Brown, was that someone. She shared her story.

Every trial runs its course. 

“If you can go through something that you can share your story with and get something out of it, then you’ve done - that’s your purpose,” said Joy Brown, a Junior League of Memphis member. 

Brown has found her purpose.  

“For years, I’ve been anemic and just going through the process of having being just out of sorts, iron being low, just feeling blah,” said Brown. 

She suffered from fibroid issues. Fibroids are growths that appear in the uterus.

“My fibroids were really sucking me dry of blood,” said Brown. “My doctor started looking at my blood count and we just kind of tracked it until it got to a point where it had gotten severely low... We started to do monthly blood transfusions. Literally, I would just go in, get an IV, blood transfusion and we would track my blood count.”

Brown needed a fibroid embolization, a procedure that blocks the blood supply to the fibroid tumors and makes them shrink. 

“At that point, I did a three-day series of blood transfusions. On the fourth day, I had my surgery,” said Brown.

Now, she has her energy back. 

“I’m really happy that I went through that process because it truly did work for me through my issues. I feel great now,” said Brown.

With a better blood count, Brown was able to give back what she had received. 

“I was never able to give blood. I was actually able to give blood for the first time in my entire life about a month or so ago because my counts were up,” said Brown.

She advocates for others to give blood as well. 

“Blood transfusions really save lives,” said Brown. “If you can, do it... Especially if you have a rare blood type, it’s so important to know your blood type, to get checked and tested.”

Brown is proud to be in a position to save someone else just as her life was saved. 

“I don’t know if my blood could ever be used, but it could be. That’s the significance,” said Brown. It is a purpose fulfilled.

The Junior League of Memphis is celebrating 100 years. Through their partnership with Vitalant, they hope to get 100 donors to participate in their blood drive. 

The next drive is Monday, October 24th, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Believing Church, 4798 Summer Ave. Memphis, TN 38122.

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