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Blood Donation: Inspiring Stories from SM Group Employees

Filipinos are known for our communal spirit. 

SM Group employee Chelle expresses gratitude for the opportunity to comfortably and conveniently donate blood at their office in Pasay City.

However, within our complex healthcare landscape, blood banks face an uphill battle in encouraging a culture of consistent, voluntary blood donation. This is essential to meet the ongoing demand for a steady supply of blood units critical for emergencies, surgeries, and the management of chronic illnesses.

Collaborating for social good, the SM Group, through SM Foundation, has been working with its partners to navigate through the intricacies of blood donation in the country, conducting blood donation drives in SM malls and offices across the country.

A chance to give back

Three SM employees Chelle Duque, Kenner Malleta, and Pao Rocuenco took the chance to support the blood donation in their office as this is a cause close to their hearts.

For Chelle, the urgency of blood donation became a deeply personal cause in 2022. Her mother’s fight with end-stage liver cancer was tragically hampered by the difficulty of securing a compatible blood match.

“She had an AB blood type kaya medyo nahirapan po kami humanap ng dugo. Unfortunately, she passed away a week after the transfusion. Hindi na rin po tinanggap ng organs niya ‘yung blood na isinalin,” she recalled.

She, however, was grateful for the fighting chance it gave her mother and family. Their struggle opened her eyes to the need for easier blood access. Now, she donates whenever possible to help others avoid the same hardship.

“It’s just like SM Foundation’s mantra: people helping people. Let’s extend our helping hand today, and hope that someday, the people we helped will be inspired to pass on the kindness to others,” she reflects on her experience.

SM Group employee Pao shares that it was comforting and reassuring how the doctor thoroughly checked whether he is suitable to donate blood.

A chance to be part of the solution

Much like their colleague Chelle, Pao and Kenner hope to use this opportunity to help ease the scarcity of blood in the county.

“Noon, parang wala sa interes namin ng mga kaibigan ko ang mag-donate ng dugo,” Kenner admitted. “This was until our friend was diagnosed with Leukemia and needed blood. Doon ko na realize na importante ang mga activities kagaya nito. That was my wake-up call to donate as regularly as possible because beyond blood donation’s benefits on the body, it’s about helping the community, or someone have a longer and fuller life.”

Donating blood, Pao remembered his uncle’s near-tragic wait for a transfusion. Witnessing the struggle firsthand, he vowed to become part of the solution.

“Nakita ko kung ano ang pinagdaraanan ng naghahanap ng dugo. Since then, whenever there is a chance to donate blood, I go for it. From a broader perspective, it’s a win-win situation because you get to help others and at the same time, your body gets benefits, too,” he said.

Kenner (right) as he rests after the blood extraction

“Matagal na po akong naghahanap ng mga programang ganito pero dahil taga Bulacan po ako, medyo may kalayuan po yung donation centers sa akin. So last year, when I found out about SM Foundation’s project, I really decided to donate,” he added.

As their blood becomes part of the Philippine blood bank, all three SM employees share the same hope: that the blood they have donated will bring healing and hope to patients and bring ease and comfort to families and communities.

Written by Village Connect

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