In late 2013, Michaela Sims found herself sitting next to Joslynn Jarrett-Skelton, who, like herself, was pregnant with a little girl. Joslynn’s excitment did not match her own, because she had recently learned that her unborn little girl had Hypo-plastic Left Heart Syndrome. When Joslynn shared her story with Michaela, It changed her world as a future mother and blood donor.
Michaela had always been encouraged by her mother, a 4 Gallon Donor, to donate, but her fear of needles prevented her from making the leap. With some encouragement, she finally rolled up her sleeve and donated in 2011 at the Bakersfield Police Department Blood Drive. After her first donation, Michaela learned that she was O negative, CMV negative, which meant she was the universal blood donor and her blood could also be given to newborn babies. This discovery changed the way Michaela viewed blood donation, especially after the birth of Charlie Skeleton and her own child, Cecilia Sims.
Michaela closely follows Charlie’s journey and recently donated during the American Heart Association Hearts United Blood drive. When asked why she continues to donate, Michaela thinks back to Joslynn and her daughter, Charlie Skeleton. She hopes that her simple donation can make a difference in the lives of patients like Charlie. As the universal blood donor, Michaela makes an effort to donate every 8 weeks in order to ensure patients, like baby Charlie, will always have an adequate blood supply. To people who have not donated before, Michaela asks that they picture themselves in the shoes of patients in need of blood products or in the families of sick children, parents, and other loved ones. If a few minutes of your time, could save someone’s life, why not? When the time comes, Michaela hopes her own daughter will follow her lead and give blood donation a try.
In her spare time, Michaela enjoys scrapbooking, yarning, teaching fitness classes at In-Shape and Total Woman, volunteering, and spending time with her 2-year-old daughter. She is also the reigning Mrs. Bakersfield for 2016.