Teen who grew up hosting family blood drives makes first donation

 

Posted on 06/26/2018

 Sam Belmonte has been aware of the importance of giving blood since he was very young. He turned that awareness into action making his first donation at Bonfils Blood Center's Southwest Littleton donation center on June 14, World Blood Donor Day.

"I’ve always been around it and ever since I’ve turned 16 I’ve wanted to do it to give back," Belmonte said. "It saved my mom."

It was 42 units of blood over the course of two separate occasions that helped Sam's mom, Kristin Belmonte, when she suffered pregnancy complications with two of Sam’s three sisters.

"I'm living proof that blood donation saves lives," Kristin Belmonte said.

Read more of Kristin's story

The family hosted annual blood drives at their home near Chicago in the years that followed. Kristin, Sam and two of his sisters are even pictured on the side of a bloodmobile for the local blood center, LifeSource. 

"I guess I didn’t really understand it when I was that young, but looking back on it now, having that many people donating and helping feels really good knowing I was a part of it," Sam Belmonte said.

Having since moved to Colorado, Kristin is now a donor recruitment representative at Bonfils. Sam is following in her footsteps. This past May, Sam was instrumental in expanding his high school’s blood drive frequency to two per year, volunteering to help organize the spring blood drive at D’Evelyn Junior/Senior High School. Blood donors are eligible to donate as young as age 16 with a minor donor permit signed by a parent.

“It’s a really good feeling as a parent to know that something I’m passionate about and my husband’s passionate about has made an impact on our children," Kristin Belmonte said. "He (Sam) has decided on his own to pay that forward and participate as well."

Bonfils Blood Center encourages all eligible high school and college students to spend an hour with us during summer break. 

"Just donate," Sam Belmonte said. "It’s pretty easy, not that big a deal. It will help somebody somewhere."

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