Adriana Estrada: Bridging the gap
Imagine discovering that your body has the ability to save someone’s life.
Adriana Estrada, Foundation Specialist at the Blood & Tissue Center Foundation, has discovered more than one way to save lives in her nine years with the organization, a period that has seen her work for all four BioBridge Global subsidiaries.
Three years before BBG was established, Estrada worked for STBTC. She worked as a clerk in the components laboratory in STBTC, then briefly in community relations in the corporate communications department.
She also worked in donor services and scheduling for several years at STBTC, scheduling phlebotomists on mobile drives, even as she was learning about that aspect of the donation process.
“I learned a lot from the patients and I think the one thing I learned most from them is to appreciate life,” she said. “Every day whether you’re waking up for school, for work, whatever, not everybody gets that chance.”
During her second period of employment at STBTC, Estrada also volunteered at QualTex Laboratories in shipping.
Shortly thereafter, Estrada’s father’s friend from the Navy was diagnosed with leukemia. Estrada, moved by his need, applied to be a GenCure specialist, recruiting potential donors for the marrow registry.
“I learned that there are cures out there,” she said. “They just happen to be in other people.”
She worked in GenCure for five years, focusing on recruitment on college campuses.
“I think all of the GenCure specialists had a soft spot,” she said. “For me, it was teenagers, because you’re at that age where you’re not a child anymore — the toys, the candy, those types of things don’t distract you as well.
“You have to tell them what’s happening, what could possibly happen, and the risks of every procedure they go through.”
Currently, Estrada works for The Foundation as a way to connect all of her past experiences at BioBridge Global.
“Just having my hands in all those different things, I learned a lot,” she said. “The one thing that I noticed we needed a lot was more recognition in the community. And to do some of those things, we needed money.
“This is my chance to help bridge the gap between all the different subsidiaries and remind the community of who we are, why we are here, the good work that we do, and how they can help.”
Editor’s note: This article and its accompanying video were produced by students at Our Lady of the Lake University, including Caitlin Starks, Danielle Ojeda, Lauryn Castro and Santiago Reyes.