One Donation—Lifetime of Change for Those in Need

Shelley Kleinwort, a Business Intelligence Manager for Mayo Medical Laboratories, has been donating blood for the last 25 years. Growing up in Byron, Minnesota, and being part of the Mayo Clinic community, she has always known the need for blood donations and how much they can benefit patients.

“Donating blood is just another way for me to help people in need,” says Kleinwort. “It’s the same to me as volunteering my time or donating money to a charity.”

More Than Just Blood Donations
Kleinwort has donated more than just blood products. She also donated one of her kidneys to someone she had never met.

When asked what sparked her desire to become an organ donor, she replied, “During college, I was assigned to complete a project about organ transplants. After completing the assignment and learning about the need for kidney donors, I felt a strong desire to become a living donor. That’s all it took to start the donation process.”

Kleinwort was approved to be a kidney donor, and very shortly after, she donated one of her kidneys to an anonymous patient at Mayo Clinic. She never had the opportunity to meet her organ recipient.

“I didn’t do it for someone to tell me ‘Thank you.’ I did it because I knew someone really needed it,” says Kleinwort. “It’s the same for blood donation. You rarely meet the people who receive your donations, but you know that your blood is going to individuals who truly need it, and that is all the thanks I need.”

How to Donate
For more information about donating blood in Olmsted County in Rochester, Minnesota, call (507) 284-4475 or email For more information about the Mayo Clinic Blood Donor Center, visit the Blood Donor Center blog, the Blood Donor Center website, and/or like the center on Facebook.

Alyssa Frank

Alyssa Frank is a Marketing Segment Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She leads marketing strategies for product management and specialty testing. Alyssa has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2015.