Laura Higdon of Auburn has donated enough blood to save multiple lives – 288 to be exact. Higdon, who works as an analyst at UW Medicine, has donated 12 gallons of blood with Cascade Regional Blood Services.

Blood Supply Critically Low

The COVID-19 pandemic has lead to a decrease in blood donations. These donations help supply blood to local hospitals and clinics. Cascade Regional Blood Services’ director of communications, marketing, and community relations Candy Morrison said blood centers need donations from younger donors.

“A lot of blood donors are older and they aren’t wanting to leave their homes right now. So we are not seeing our regular huge donor base as much, during this pandemic.”  

Additionally, Cascade Regional Blood Services receives about 30 percent of blood from schools, which are currently closed due to COVID-19. 

Essential Blood Donor, Laura Higdon | photo from Laura Higdon

There Is No Substitute For Blood

Continuous donors like Higdon are helping blood centers remain operational. Higdon feels it’s her duty to donate when she can at the Federal Way blood center. She donates at least every 56 days, the amount of time required to wait in between blood donations.

Higdon was first introduced to donating when she worked at a YMCA in high school. A supervisor invited Higdon to donate blood with her, and Higdon has donated since. Despite her initial fear of needles, she felt motivated to donate knowing her blood could potentially help others. The previous summer, Higdon worked as a camp counselor where a camper’s younger sister had blood cancer. “I thought, well if that little girl can have needles poked into her, I guess I can do this to help somebody like her,” Higdon said.