Los Angeles,
08:22 AM

ABC7: Parents Host Blood Drive as Their Infant Recovers

ABC7 recently featured the journey of parents Rui and Jeffery Dolen, who recently hosted a baby shower for their premature infant that featured a Cedars-Sinai mobile blood donation unit.

The Dolen's baby, Tasha, was born Jan. 2, 2020 – more than two-and-a-half months early. She weighed barely over 2 pounds and needed surgery and several blood transfusions. Both parents have since donated blood to help their baby and others like her, but hadn’t realized the significance of donating until recently.

In fact, Jeffrey Dolen told ABC7 that when he went to donate blood to help his baby, he realized he had never donated before.

“It was a pretty traumatic first week or two,” Dolen told ABC7. “The baby needed a transfusion on day seven of her life and that made me aware of the importance of blood donation. Now we want to give back to the blood bank and help others in need."

Because Tasha arrived well ahead of her mid-March due date and the parents' planned baby-shower, the Dolens combined the two events and invited the public to join their friends and family at the shower/blood drive.

Both Rui and Jeffery hope their idea will catch on – especially with parents of other preemies.

At Cedars-Sinai, patients use more than 60,000 blood products every year and one single blood donation can help save the lives of two people. Through the medical center's Blood Donor Services program, individuals or groups can host blood drives like the Dolen family did.

Click here to watch the complete clip from ABC7 and click here to learn more about donating blood.

Read more on the Cedars-Sinai Blog: What You Should Know About Preeclampsia