Saving Lives through Blood Donation—It Runs in the Family

Lisa Zerby, a Laboratory Assistant in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at Mayo Clinic, is carrying on her family’s long-standing tradition of blood donation as a third-generation donor.

“My dad has always encouraged me to donate blood,” says Zerby. “He started when he was in his 30s and donated for more than 20 years. His mother (my grandmother) was also a dedicated blood donor and donated just as long as he did.

“My dad isn’t able to donate anymore, so I feel like I need to carry on the tradition and donate blood whenever I am eligible,” says Zerby. “There are so many people who are in need of blood or blood products, so taking the time to donate is just a small thing I can do to help.”

Family Ties
Zerby knows the importance of blood donation and the impact it can have on a family all too well. Her mother was involved in a life-threatening motorcycle accident and needed blood transfusions to save her life.

“I feel a connection to my mom when I donate. If it wasn’t for blood donors, she wouldn’t have received the life-saving transfusions that she needed. It’s a powerful feeling knowing that I am potentially saving someone’s life or multiple patients’ lives.”

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.

April Josselyn

April Josselyn is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories. She has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2012. Outside of work, April enjoys the outdoors and being "hockey mom" for her two sports-crazed boys.