Katerina Svigos showed up to work at Groupon on an arctic Friday morning, blocked out time in her calendar and put her name on the list. This wasn’t, however, any ordinary list. This list was to save someone’s life – just like the person who saved her cousin’s. Katerina signed up to give blood.
In October of 2012, Katerina nearly lost her cousin. He was outside at a party and fell from a fourth-story balcony. He survived, but the fall broke his back and both of his legs. He was rushed to the hospital that very night where he received three blood transfusions the first weekend he was in the hospital. Recalling the severity of the accident, Katerina said soberly, “it was the 3 blood transfusions that saved his life.” This was her first time giving blood. “I wanted to give back,” she said.
Katerina’s gift is unprecedented. That’s because there is no replacement for blood and every 2 seconds someone in the United States needs it. The Chicagoland region currently uses 6 times more blood than it collects. But on Friday, February 1st, 81 Groupon employees signed up to give blood and the Red Cross collected 71 units. The successful drive not only created the potential to save up to 213 lives, it gave people like Katerina the opportunity to give back in a way that no other type of donation can generate.
Katerina said her cousin is stable now, working on his recovery and is maintaining a positive spirit. She told her cousin that she gave blood because of him.
“He is so thankful,” she said, “he realizes it is other people that saved him.”
Written by: Bridget Ballek