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Porscha Burks

Porscha Burks

Treatment, Wisconsin

Porscha was diagnosed with sickle cell disease when she was four years old. As she got older, the painful episodes caused by the disease became more frequent and difficult to recover from.

“By my early 20s, I felt like my disease had taken over. I had little hope of living a normal life,” says Porscha.

In 2011, Burks met BloodCenter of Wisconsin’s Dr. Joshua Field, whose work at our Blood Research Institute focuses on discovering new treatments, and ultimately cures, for people like her. Porscha started receiving regular blood transfusions — red cell exchange therapy — every four weeks.

“It changed my life,” says Porscha. “Receiving blood has allowed me to do all of the things most people take for granted, like hold a part-time job, being social and accomplish my goals in life. And I attribute that to something as simple as blood donation.”

Other Impact Stories

Jesse Pagel presenting a check to Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin to support Organ Donation

Jesse Pagels

Jesse was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia in 2003. Unfortunately, the treatment damaged his lungs. In 2013, a match was found and Jesse underwent a life-saving double lung transplant.

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Judge Mosely and Judge Eiring at Cream City 5K in 2019

Judges Derek Mosley and JoAnn Eiring

In 2014, Derek was diagnosed with end-stage renal disease. Already his colleague and close friend, JoAnn got tested to see if she could donate her kidney and save Derek’s life.

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Gia Danninger

Gia Danninger

Gia Danninger is a fighter. When she was 5 years old, she was diagnosed with aplastic anemia, a rare disease that occurs when the body stops producing enough new blood cells.

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