Julie Perry

Woman pays it forward after donors save mother

While Julie Perry knew that donating blood was a nice thing to do, it wasn't something she did regularly--"Finding the time to go to a blood donation center wasn't a priority," she recalled.

However, the reality of the lifesaving power of blood was revealed to her when her mother unexpectedly received several blood transfusions that were crucial to her survival.

In 2016, Julie's mother, Jane, was diagnosed with uterine cancer. During a surgery related to her treatment, she unexpectedly needed blood transfusions to keep her stable. She received three units of blood that helped her get through the surgery.

Jane recovered from the surgery and is still fighting her cancer, but Julie knew that her time with her mother may have been cut short had blood products not been available. "My mother would not be here to fight the battle [against cancer] if she didn't have the blood transfusion at the time of her surgery," Julie said.

Waiting for her mother to emerge from surgery, Julie felt a sense of hopelessness--as there was nothing in that moment that she could do to help. "All I wanted to do was help her in her time of need, and at that time, it was too late for me to do anything," she said. "All I could do was sit and wait."

It was that feeling of wanting to help that inspired Julie to start donating on a regular basis.

"I want to be the one to help whoever it may be," she said. "I will be donating when I can. It may not be my mother who receives it, but if it wasn't for those who previously donated, she wouldn't be here. Maybe I can help someone else's mother, dad, son, or daughter someday."

Not only that, she's encouraging others who might not have made the time to donate to reconsider: "Please take the time to save a life," she says. "It could be your mother, father, husband, wife or your child. My mother is still with us today because of donated blood."

And to the donors who saved her mother's life, she has a very simple message for them: "Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!"