Seven-year-old Gabriella (Ella) Martinez is transfusion dependent due to beta thalassemia, a rare form of anemia. She has already received more than 80 blood transfusions at Rady Children’s Hospital and will continue to receive blood every three weeks. San Diego Blood Bank's blood donors ensure that blood is available for Gabriella and patients like her.
Ella is so grateful to blood donors that she wanted to do something to help someone else. She first heard about donating hair when she met a child who had no hair due to leukemia while getting a blood transfusion. She was told that when she got older, she could donate her hair so other children could have a wig and wouldn’t need to be bald. This resonated deeply with Ella and she told her mother that’s what she wanted to do.
When Ella sat down for her first ever haircut a few months later to donate 12” of her long hair, a huge smile came over her face.
“People donate blood for me so I can be healthy. Now I want to donate my hair to children who don’t have any,” she said.
Ella’s mother was touched by her daughter’s generosity and decided to donate her hair as well. As Ella says, “everyone can find a way to be generous.”