Tia Lewis has a track record of stepping up to help in times of need. While a student at Kaimuki High School, Tia was asked to give blood and didn’t hesitate. When a few years later she recovered from COVID-19 and had life-saving plasma in her blood, she came in to donate as soon as she heard about the program.

“I saw on the news there was a couple who had beaten the virus and came to the blood bank to give their plasma – to give this stuff called ‘CCP’,” she recalled. “Around the same time, a close friend of mine got COVID. At first he was fine, but things quickly escalated until he had to go to the hospital. Thankfully, he told me that he received CCP and it helped him a lot!”

Believe it or not, giving blood doesn’t come natural to Tia. “I’m literally terrified of needles, but I know my blood is helping people. So as long as I can still give, I’ll come in,” she said. “I would tell anyone considering donating that you’re taking one hour of your day to potentially add years to the life of someone who needs it.”