Teressa Johnson is an active woman at the age of 76 who leads a very full life. It was through her volunteer work with The Pioneer Club of Kansas City that she was reacquainted with Community Blood Center, which provided the units of blood she received on four separate occasions.
As a mother of four, Teresa is no stranger to the inside of a hospital room. Three of her four children were born via caesarian and each resulted in her needing a blood transfusion. Many years later her doctors determined that a hysterectomy was needed as well. En route to the operating room, the surgeon noticed her hemoglobin levels were dangerously low and postponed the surgery until they could be raised to an acceptable level. It took two weeks of iron injections to get her levels up enough for surgery. It was after that surgery she received two more pints of blood.
Teresa has never been able to donate blood due to low iron levels, but recognizes the importance of having a supply readily available when it’s needed. “I’d donate if I could. I know what would have happened to me if it hadn’t been there when I needed it.” Although unable to donate herself, she encourages other African-Americans in her community to donate and shares the importance of having a diversified blood supply.