Harley Durham - Blood Donor

“I donate because my mom needed blood,” says Harley Durham. “We almost lost her a couple times.”

Harley’s mother suffered a rare miscarriage a little over six years ago that required a life threatening surgery. “We didn’t know the risk factor at the time, but there was a strong chance she wouldn’t make it, but thankfully she did,” says Harley.

Then this past fall a subsequent surgery resulted in complications that had Harley’s mother in critical condition again. While these two events were the motivation behind Harley’s decision to donate, it has since grown to something more for the Belmont teenager.

“It’s an extremely rewarding experience and it saves lives,” explains Harley. “And besides the rewarding factor, when I’m waiting for the bag to fill the nurses are so friendly. I‘ve never met one I didn’t like. They’re always willing to talk to me and they make it such a nice experience.”

That personal touch is one the main factors why Harley continues to donate with Michigan Blood. She has even tried to encourage some of her friends to join her and convert them to being blood donors.

“I only go to Michigan Blood because of the connections you make there,” explains Harley. “I wouldn’t be comfortable going any other place to donate. You build a trust with an organization, and I trust Michigan Blood. I feel safe when I’m with Michigan Blood.” 

Unfortunately donating with Michigan Blood isn’t something many of Harley’s friends do, despite the comfort she has with Michigan Blood and the donation process.

“They think it’s weird because they’re afraid of needles,” says Harley, with a laugh. “I’ve dragged my friends with me at times, and a few haven’t been able to donate because of low iron. But I think they would like it if they could go through with the process.”

For now Harley is focused on continuing to donate blood and paying forward the lifesaving gifts her mother received from blood donors. “As long as I can donate I’m going to,” she says passionately. “I want to save as many lives as I can.”

And if Harley can convince a few others to join her along the way she says it’ll be even better. “The biggest thing to remember when donating is you have to think outside of yourself,” she explains. “It’s not about what might hurt or worrying about the needle. You have to remember to think about others when you’re donating blood.”

Learn more about Harley and her reason to donate: