Zika Testing to Begin


Beginning Thursday, September 15, 2016 we will begin testing all blood donations for the Zika Virus (ZIKV). The safety of our donors and the blood supply they generously provide is always our primary concern.

The ZIKV blood test will be performed along with the 13 other tests each donor’s blood sample undergoes every time they donate.  So, donors will not really notice any change as far as the donation itself goes. However, because this test on the blood sample is still in a clinical study stage, donors will receive an information sheet about the study, and now both 16 and 17 year old donors must bring in a signed parental consent form to be able to donate. This is required parental-consentbecause in California minors under 18 years old cannot consent to participate in clinical trials. Prior to September 15, 17 year olds were able to donate without a parent’s consent, but that is no longer the case. Minor donors will not be able to donate unless they present the proper form provided below. 

The required parental consent forms and educational materials are available here in English and in Spanish. Parents should read the material and send a signed copy in with minors presenting to donate.

Travel to ZIKV affected areas will no longer require a wait period once the testing begins.  Donors whose blood tests positive for ZIKV will be notified with follow-up instructions. If you have any questions regarding ZIKV blood testing, please call 661-323-4222.

En Español:

A partir del viernes 15 de Septiembre de, 2016 se comenzará a probar todas las donaciones de sangre para asegurarse que no provengan con el virus del Zika (ZIKV). La seguridad de nuestros donantes y el suministro de sangre que generosamente ofrecen es siempre nuestra preocupación principal.


El análisis de sangre ZIKV se llevará a cabo junto con las otras 13 pruebas que se le proporcionan a cada muestra de sangre cada vez que donan. Por lo tanto, los donantes realmente no notarán ningún cambio en cuanto a la donación. Sin embargo, debido a que este análisis todavía se encuentra en la fase de pruebas, los donantes recibirán una hoja de información sobre el ensayo clínico en curso en la prueba ZIKV.  Los donantes de 16 y  17 años de edad, ahora tendrán que llevar  un formulario de consentimiento firmado por los padres para poder ser elegibles para donar. Esto se debe al que todavía son menores de 18 años y entonces no pueden dar su propio consentimiento mediante un análisis de sangre que se encuentre en proceso de ensayo clínico. Los menores de edad no podrán donar al menos que presenten el formulario apropiado que se encuentra abajo.

Los nuevos formularios de consentimiento de los padres y los materiales educativos están disponibles aquí en Inglés y en Español.

Las restricciones de viaje asociadas con ZIKV ya no estarán en práctica una vez que comience la prueba. Si tiene alguna pregunta con respecto a las pruebas de sangre ZIKV, por favor llame al 661-323-4222.

Donor Of The Month: Leonard Zasoski

Leonard-Zasoski photo from CalifornianLeonard Zasoski, is a dedicated blood and trima donor, with more than 11 gallons of whole blood and 215 units of platelets in his history. Leonard’s father was a faithful blood donor, who encouraged his son to do so as well, yet Leonard did not get around to it until he learned his father would be undergoing treatment for prostate cancer and would need platelets in 1992. Leonard continued to donate after his father’s passing as a way to feel close to the memory of his father.

In 2011, Leonard found out he had prostate cancer himself.  Leonard was saddened not only by his diagnosis, but also because he could no longer do the one thing that allowed him to continue to honor his late father—donate blood products.

Thankfully, since Leonard’s cancer was caught early, it could be fully removed and Leonard was declared cancer free. Although he no longer had cancer, Leonard was not able to donate blood or platelets until he was five years past treatment in accordance with FDA regulations. During those years, Leonard became very active in work supporting prostate cancer survivors and urging early diagnosis of the disease.

Leonard-Zasoski photo from first day backOn July 25th, with a great smile on his face and a spring in his step, Leonard walked into our donor center to resume his community service by donating platelets. Since that day he has donated platelets 5 times. Leonard hopes to continue donating for as long as he possibly can and encourages others to join him in saving lives. On the occasion of his return to donating, he wrote a letter to The Bakersfield Californian detailing his story and urging others to give. It was selected as a Community Voice piece, and is available to read here.

Welcome back Leonard. Congratulations on beating cancer, and we look forward to seeing you often in our Gold Club chairs!



Girls’ Story Inspires Blood and Platelet Drive

Amanda and AbigailShawna Callahan believes in supporting those fighting cancer, so No One Fights Alone, the organization she and husband Dwayne started after her uncle, Robert McCaslin, was diagnosed with cancer, will provide support to two two young ladies fighting brain tumors, Amanda Broome, on the left, and little Abigail Segundo.

Abigail’s story was recently featured in The Bakersfield Californian, and is available here.

To raise support funds for Abigail and Amanda, the 3rd Annual No One Fights Alone Poker Run will be held Sunday, November 6, 2016. A flyer about the Poker Run can be printed out here. The first Poker Run was organized by family and friends to provide support for Uncle Robert, and proved so successful, that it has been expanded, and offered help to other patients each year since.

Blood products save livesTo raise emotional support and encourage blood and platelet donations for survivors like Abigail and Amanda, a blood drive will be held on Saturday, September 24 from 8 am to 2 pm at the Truxtun Donor Center. In addition, an effort to increase platelet collection in honor of these crusaders will be held at both donor centers all week leading up to the blood drive, and through September 30th. Use the No One Fights Alone Account Code 929 to donate in honor of Abigail and Amanda.

It is crucial that more people become platelet donors to keep up with increased need for this blood product which is needed to aid patients in their fight against terrible diseases like cancer. The need for platelets locally has doubled this year, and many donors we have counted on can no longer give or have moved away.  It is not uncommon for 3 to 5 local hospitals or cancer centers to call for platelets at once. We appreciate the opportunity to draw attention to this growing problem, and hope it will bring in needed new donors. Those who join our Gold Club in September by providing a first time donation of platelets or plasma, will be entered to win a night on the town for two including movie tickets, dinner and dessert. It’s just an extra way to say thanks for giving trima, our automated donation system, a try this month. Cancer, trauma and other patients who receive your golden products will be truly grateful for the gift of life.

Recycle Life and Save Lives

Kern Schools LogoBlood products are the ultimate renewable resource, so Kern Schools Federal Credit Union is sponsoring a Recycle Life Blood Drive, kicking off on Saturday, September 24 with their annual Kern Schools Community Recycling Day from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, at 15000 Bolthouse Drive, across from our Bolthouse Donor Center.  Blood will be collected that day at both donor centers from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Recycle Life Blood Drive will continue for a week at both donor centers, through Saturday, October 1st. Thanks to Kern Schools, donors during the drive can enter to win a Four Pack of One-Day Park Hopper tickets to Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park good through December 31, 2016!

Recycle LifeVolunteer blood donors are stewards of the precious natural resources they possess: blood, platelets and plasma. Donating blood products can be a great opportunity to practice the three Rs: Reduce (the need for blood), Reuse (what you’ve got) and Recycle (what you can). Much like conventional recycling, it’s easy to do and can have far-reaching benefits. When it comes to recycling, donating blood is one of the best things you can do in one hour! We appreciate Kern Schools partnering with us on this blood drive in conjunction with their Community Recycling Day.

Disney Park Hopper Passes provide admission to both Disneyland and California Adventure in one day.  Kern Schools is your discounted amusement park headquarters, and you can find out about what tickets they offer here. Details on the annual Kern Schools Community Recycling Day and what will be accepted is found below.




Condors Suite Prize for September

Condors vs StocktonIt’s almost hockey season in CondorsTown, so the Executives’ Association of Kern County Monthly Prize for September is exclusive use of a suite for 12-18 people during the opening days of the new Condors season in October or November. The Bakersfield Condors will host the Stockton Heat on Dignity Health Home Ice at Rabobank Arena in preseason action on Saturday, October 8 at 7 p.m. The Condors home opener will be Saturday, Oct. 22 at 7 p.m. The exact suite is subject to availability based on the game chosen, but there are a number of great suite options.

Condors LogoCondors hockey offers exciting American Hockey League action at every game. The Condors are the top development team of the Edmonton Oilers, with the very best prospects playing right here in Bakersfield. Stats from last season include:

  • Final record: 31-28-7-2, 5th place, Pacific Division
  • Condors to play in the NHL: 17
  • Number of 1st round draft picks to play in Bakersfield: 5
  • Largest crowd: 8,212 on Nov. 28

Condors CommunityThe Condors have established deep roots in the community. A Wounded Hero is honored at every home game, provide game experiences for at risk youth, and offer programs that reward good attendance and grades for students. The Condors have raised over $5 million in cash, goods and services over the team’s history. The organization is part of the fabric of our community, with mascots and players participating in events throughout the year.

Visit one of our donor centers or mobile drives in September to enter to enter to win your very own AHL hockey party, and cheer on the Bakersfield Condors as they continue to make their mark on the AHL. For an updated Condors game schedule click here.