REPROCELL and BioBridge Global sign Memorandum of Understanding to accelerate global manufacturing services using clinical iPSCs

Bloodmobile on its way to a new life in Mexico

With more than 312,036 miles and countless blood drives, it seemed like it was the end of the line for bloodmobile B-8. 

But it’s not, as the 1993 Blue Bird is continuing her lifesaving mission south of the border. On Sept. 29, South Texas Blood & Tissue officially donated B-8 to the Global Blood Fund. The destination: Mexico City. 

“This will be the first bus to go where it’s going [Mexico City,]” Martin Gomez, representative of GBF said. “They’ve never seen bloodmobiles in these places.” 

The GBF helps poorer countries obtain sufficient, safe blood and has received millions in donations to improve blood availability and safety in the developing world. 

Years of use 

In her heyday, B-8 was at the forefront of STB&T’s mission. She’s pictured at countless events in the ‘90s, a growing time for the organization. 

Two of B-8’s former drivers, Tony Piatt and Melodie Mongomery, came to say goodbye. They laughed, each reminiscing about hundreds of thousands of miles and years each of them accrued on the hulking bus. 

“It was fun, and never a dull moment,” Montgomery said. “And always turn on Houston Street, and don’t hit the curb.” 

Back then, phlebotomists had to have a commercial driver’s license in addition to a phlebotomy certification to drive vehicles like B-8, which posed a hiring challenge. Fortunately, times have changed, and having a CDL is no longer a requirement to drive such large vehicles. 

“You drove with one hand, and stuck with the other,” Piatt joked. 

 Rockstar treatment 

According to Gomez, B-8 is going to be given the rockstar treatment south of the border. She’ll be repainted, refurbished and put to work. 

This is not the first bus donation by STB&T. Three other mobile blood vehicles have been donated GBF in the past, each serving a purpose in Mexico, Gomez said. They were also given star treatment. 

Everyone wants to use the bus, Gomez explains. But to do so, a drive must have at least 50 donors registered. 

“When we do the grand presentation to the community, they bring the mayor, everyone’s there. Media goes in, and they have donors already ready to go,” Gomez said. “People can’t believe it. They don’t know that bloodmobiles exist.” 

Hurt and healing in the holidays

“The Holidays” are supposed to be all “sparkly and glittery” making us think of words like merry, happy… “It’s the most wonderful time of the year”…but often this is not the case when living with grief.

When grief and the holidays meet, the results are often not pretty. It’s more like they collide.

A holiday collision IS coming. The calendar is filled with immovable objects – dates that get our attention, such as anniversaries, birthdays, and graduations. And of course, there’s Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s sitting there in big, bold letters.

Everywhere we turn now, there they are. The holiday season looms before us and there’s going to be a collision of highs and lows; joys and sorrows; laughter and tears.

We’ve had loved ones die. Our hearts have been hit. Our worlds have cracked. We feel broken. Our futures have been altered. How do we heal in “the holidays”??

  • WE LOVE, that’s what we do!
  • We loved, therefore we grieve. We love, therefore we continue to grieve. As we mourn, we remember.
  • We speak their names, as often as possible.
  • We tell their stories to anyone who will listen.
  • We live their legacies.
  • We seek to honor their memory in our thoughts, words and actions.
  • We love them, and so we remember.
  • As we remember, we give thanks for them.
  • We love them, so we celebrate – maybe not so much with “hoopla” but with wounded, appreciative hearts.

Have you heard that what you resist persists? I invite you to embrace your grief; allow your pain to surface, let the tears come, and honor your struggle. This is the process of healing.

It’s ok to change everything. It’s ok to change nothing. BREATHE!!
It’s ok to say no. It’s ok to say yes. BREATHE!!
It’s ok to shop. It’s ok to not. BREATHE!!
It’s ok to celebrate. It’s ok to hide. BREATHE!!
It’s ok to remember. It’s ok to honor. BREATHE!!
It’s ok to hurt. It’s ok to laugh. BREATHE!!

Tanya Lord

Again, we speak their names. We tell their stories. We live their legacies. We remember and honor them. We are healing.

Sending you all extra love and hugs!

– Susan

Boo Crew saving lives this Halloween

Blood donors receive a Halloween Boo Crew T-shirt when they donate blood in October

SAN ANTONIO – Be part of a lifesaving team this October and join the Boo Crew. Members of Boo Crew can save up to three lives when donating blood, but only 3% of the population that is eligible to donate gives.

The need for blood is constant to meet the ongoing needs of patients scheduled for surgery, those who need blood as part of their regular cancer treatments, newborns and their mothers, and many other patients.

Type O blood and platelets are the most needed blood types. While all blood types are important, the demand is especially high for O-negative donors as they make up just 8% of the population, but O-negative blood can be transfused to any patient in emergency situations. Platelets, which have a shelf life of only five days, are often used for cancer patients, as well as emergencies.

As a treat, lifesaving donors will get to take home an official Boo Crew Halloween T-shirt now through the end of October while supplies last.

Donors can make an appointment to donate at one of our nine donor centers or at a community blood drive. To schedule a blood donation, visit or call 210-731-5590.