Heart from the start
The first two women to donate in the newly rebranded Heroes in Arms program share a deep commitment to the lifesaving program.
Antoinette Brumfield was the first Heroes in Arms donor, edging out Tina Boldt’s donation by just a few minutes. Antoinette is married to George Brumfield, Supervisor, Tele and Digital Recruitment and Training with South Texas Blood & Tissue. Boldt is the Office Manager of the BioBridge Global executive suite.
Heroes in Arms (formerly Brothers in Arms) provides low-titer type O-positive whole blood for use in trauma emergencies in the field and at San Antonio’s two Level I trauma centers. The program marked its fifth birthday and its expansion to eligible women on Saturday.
Adrienne Mendoza, Chief Operating Officer, South Texas Blood & Tissue, expressed appreciation for the donors coming forward.
“Of course we need O-positive and O-negative donors,” she said. “But we also need AB and B and A donors. “We need donors from all walks of life, every demographic.”
A step forward
“I think it’s so amazing that we can save lives and have blood available in helicopters and ambulances,” Boldt said. “To be a part of that is cutting-edge.”
The program initially used only donations by men, since men naturally have low levels of certain antibodies in their bloodstream. But with population growth and the demand for emergency-use blood growing, the program has been expanded to female donors who meet the general eligibility requirements and have never been pregnant.
“I am O-positive, but I didn’t know if I would qualify,” Boldt said. “So when I found out, I was super super-jazzed.”
Brumfield said she felt her donation was only the beginning.
“I feel like I have a lot to do once I get out of here to spread the word about this program,” she said. “It was a chance to help the community and hopefully inspire others to donate.”