In time for the National Blood Donors Month celebration, SM Foundation (SMFI) announced the success of its bloodletting efforts from February to June 2022, wherein more than 4,000 bags of blood were generated.
From these bags of blood, around 12,000 lives may be saved and extended – since one bag can help save up to three lives as it can be separated into three components: platelet concentrate, packed red blood cell, and fresh frozen plasma.
This social good effort is in partnership with the Department of Health – Philippine Blood Center (DOH-PBC) and Philippine Red Cross (PRC). This is in support of the Republic Act No. 7719, or the National Blood Services Act of 1994 which encourages and promotes voluntary blood donation to provide sufficient supply of safe blood.
Following the necessary safety protocols, SMFI conducts its regular blood donation drive in SM malls nationwide to help address the depleting supply of blood needed by those with medical emergencies. For this leg, SMFI was able to conduct its bloodletting activities in NCR, Baguio, Pangasinan, Nueva Ecija, Isabela, Cagayan Valley, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Batangas, Bicol, Cebu, Leyte, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Palawan, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, General Santos, Zamboanga, and at the SM Corporate Offices.
Stories of extended hope
SM blood bank, which was established in 2011, has helped many Filipinos that are in need of blood and blood products. One of them is Sherynel Narboneta, a Senior Manager at SM City San Lazaro, who requested for six units of platelet concentrate or 1-unit plateletpheresis per transfusion for her father-in-law, Rolando F. Narboneta.
Mr. Narboneta was diagnosed with Myelodysplastic Syndrome which advanced into Leukemia. According to Sherynel, requesting for blood from the SM blood bank was smooth and very convenient. While requests are granted depending on the availability of the type and kind of blood component requested, Sherynel said, “From our experience, we received a confirmation on the same day.”
As a way of giving back, she expressed that she is willing to donate blood in the future: “Having readily available blood for medical emergencies would definitely save lives.”
Gin Navarro, who works at a known convention center in Pasay, was one of the earliest victims of COVID. She experienced severe COVID and was required a blood transfusion but her rare AB blood type further aggravated their situation. They had to search far & wide for her blood type until they got in touch with a representative from SM Foundation.
Another blood bank recipient is Marissa Araiz—a patient at the Quirino Memorial Medical Center who underwent hysterectomy. With the operation scheduled at 7:00 a.m the following day, her daughter, Reece Ann Araiz spent the night looking for blood donors. She recounted with gratitude that SM Foundation generously responded even if the call for help came in the middle of the night. By 2:00 a.m. she was able to secure the needed blood for her mother.
“We were at our wits end as we prepared for the surgery, the doctors, the room, the medicines plus the many expenses that would be incurred plus the blood that was needed for the operation. The hospital asked us to look for the blood and we didn’t know where to go until someone suggested we call SM Foundation and in no time at all, we got an immediate response at 2AM. And to top it all, it was for free!” Reece Ann shared.
Aside from its bloodletting activities, SM Foundation also goes to grassroots communities to deliver its health and medical programs. To date, it has renovated more than 170 health and wellness centers and served more than 1 million patients during its medical missions.