Most people who give life with Carter BloodCare do so through blood drives. Each day, we host dozens of blood drives all over North, Central, and East Texas that make it possible for us to give life to patients in need of a transfusion. These blood drives are all made feasible with the hard work and compassion of our dedicated drive coordinators. Among them is Nancy Banks.
As a nurse, Nancy knows firsthand how important blood donation can be. Nancy has been the drive coordinator for St. Joseph’s Catholic Church for years, hosting a minimum of three drives each year. Now the church nurse, Nancy has made it part of her personal mission to spread awareness to others in the community about the impact they can make by giving blood.
Nancy’s passion for blood donation began about 15 years ago when her son was diagnosed with leukemia and needed 16 units of platelets on admission to the hospital. “He is alive today because of it,” said Nancy. Shortly after, her grandson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s leukemia. Both of them are now in remission. “If it were not for our donors, I wouldn’t have either of them today.”
Nancy has been instrumental at increasing the number of donors at St Joseph’s. Prior to her efforts, St. Joseph’s was hosting 1-2 drives per year, with each bringing in approximately 20 units per drive. Now, St. Joseph’s provides 260-275 units of blood and blood components each year.
Not only is Nancy hosting at least three drives per year, she is also advocating the church community in the Sundays leading up to each blood drive with announcements and sign-ups during all masses. She has been key in significantly increasing the Hispanic donor base at the church. All priests at St. Joseph’s encourage their entire parish to donate at each drive.
In addition to her work as a blood drive coordinator and church nurse, Nancy also teaches aerobics, serves communion, and organizes a monthly senior lunch. Committed to the health of her church community, Nancy offers mammography, diabetes and other clinical services to the church. “She has the energy of a 35-year-old and is truly committed to good health and especially blood donations,” says her Carter BloodCare consultant, Becky Swindell.
Nancy has advocated not only for blood donations, but for automated donations as well, with each drive bringing in upwards of 80 units each time. “I don’t believe people realize the significance of just one unit of blood,” says Nancy. “I will continue to work to save as many lives as possible.”
Without her hard work, the St. Joseph’s community would not be the same. As an organization, all of us at Carter BloodCare cannot thank Nancy enough for everything she continues to do to give life to her community.
If you know a great blood drive coordinator, please email BookABloodDrive@carterbloodcare.org to nominate them for our next Drive Coordinator Spotlight!