Sometimes people give blood at City of Hope
because their friend or relative is in treatment. But
Donna D’Amore, who has donated blood or platelets
at least once a month over the past decade, has no
Her motivation is straightforward: “If you’re
blessed with good health — and I have been — it’s
a way to help,” she said. “I like to contribute where I
That means giving clothing and food to
charitable drives, signing up as a potential donor for
the National Marrow Donor Program’s Be The Match
registry and donating her hair — three times — to
Locks of Love, a nonprofit organization that provides
hairpieces to children suffering from long-term
medical hair loss.
D’Amore has a busy schedule with two jobs —
as a paralegal and as
owner of Heart & Soul
Healing Arts Center
in Pasadena, Calif.
So she makes her
City of Hope’s Michael
Medicine Center part of
her routine. “If my loved
one needed blood, I’d
want someone to step
forward,” she explained.
Most often, D’Amore donates platelets, parts of
the blood that prevent or stop internal bleeding. They
can only be stored for up to five days, heightening the
need for ready supplies.
D’Amore first donated blood at age 17 at a blood
drive. A vegetarian, she eats iron-heavy foods and
takes supplements so she can continue to donate.
She tries to recruit other people to the cause, too,
assuring them that the procedure does not hurt. “The
needle only stings for a second, and I hate needles,”
she said with a laugh.
Kasie Uyeno, directed donor coordinator at the
Amini Center, said D’Amore symbolizes longtime
donors’ dedication. “We appreciate all of our donors,”
Uyeno said, “but we especially need generous people
like Donna who are willing to donate to help others,
whether friend, family or stranger.”
City of Hope follows strict confidentiality rules,
so D’Amore never knows who will receive her blood
or platelets, but that matters little. “When I donate,”
she said, “I always say a prayer for that person.”