I’ve always been passionate about blood and bone marrow donation, and I was so excited to get involved with the cause in Argentina. My study abroad program offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, and one is through the organization Donar Sangre Da Vida, or Donating Blood Gives Life. (If you want more info!! Also feel free to like the page, too: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Donar-Sangre-Da-Vida/110888178942269)
I started by volunteering at a city-wide blood drive. I showed up, having no idea to expect. The next thing I knew, I was wearing a red blood cell costume. DREAM COME TRUE. But actually, what an amazing way to advertise for a blood drive.
I talked more with the head of the organization, Claudio, who is a leukemia survivor himself. He is incredibly passionate about the cause, and with his big heart and novel ideas, I was so inspired simply listening to him. He hosts salsa dance therapy classes for children undergoing chemotherapy, and he’s run almost 100 races and marathons. He hopes to show other cancer survivors that anything is truly possible, and even after the darkness of cancer treatment, there is always a light of new hope and opportunities.
Because I started the Be the Match on Campus chapter at UW-Madison, and conduct research with bone marrow transplant recipients, Claudio wanted to hear more about my experiences in the US. I showed up to talk with him, and the next thing I knew, I was talking on live radio… in Spanish. I´ve had no radio experience, and I’m pretty sure my bone marrow-related vocab was severely lacking. It was still so much fun!! His radio program, hosted every Wednesday evening, is so sweet and entertaining, spreading the word of blood and bone marrow donation throughout Argentina. He hopes to spread his ideas to the US and beyond, and I wish him all the success in the world. I know he’s left a great impact on me, and I know he’ll continue making an international difference. In the meantime, I’m just trying to be famous with my new radio career. Just kidding… kind of.