Since only 4% of the population has AB blood, and AB patients can take any blood type safely, hospitals seldom call for AB red cells. While AB donors are discouraged from donating whole blood, AB plasma and platelets are universally accepted by all blood types. One donor who has gotten that message is Jessica Dickson.
Jessica has been donating for as long as she can remember. She was first recruited as a blood donor, but after reaching her one gallon milestone, she learned that patients rarely needed her blood type. So, in an effort to find a different way to help, Jessica converted to donating platelets and plasma. At first, her trima donations were a way to help people she would never meet, but when a close friend was diagnosed with leukemia, her donations took on a different meaning. Jessica became a strong advocate for trima donations, and when friends and family members asked for ways they could help, Jessica’s answer was always, “Have you considered a platelet or plasma donation?” Although her friend passed away 15 years ago, Jessica donated her 100th platelet on January, 2016 and continues to keep up with her lifesaving donations.
Jessica often jokes that her blood may not be O-, but her donations are the “Gold Standard”. Her platelets and plasma donations can help burn victims, as well as cancer, and trauma patients. Every donation is not only an opportunity to help patients in need, but to chat with the Houchin staff she has become familiar with over the years. Jessica looks forward to reaching her next milestone and always displays her license plate as a badge of honor. The longer donation time makes trima less attractive to many donors, but Jessica encourages new and seasoned blood donors to just give it a try, because you never know, your platelets or plasma could be exactly what a patient needs. To her fellow AB donors, Jessica wants to remind them that a plasma only donation could take less than 30 minutes and make the world of difference.
Jessica works for the Bakersfield City School District and part time as a delivery driver for Pizza Hut. She loves to stay busy and when she isn’t working, Jessica enjoys going to the movies, reading, traveling, and scrapbooking.