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 so when she first heard about donating hair while getting a blood transfusion at Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, she met a child who had no hair due to leukemia. 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. In June 2015, Ella donated over 12” of her beautiful long hair at a salon in La Jolla. A huge smile came over her face a she sat down for her very first haircut ever.
“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.
Not only did she love her new haircut – she also talked her mother Erica into donating her hair as well! Her sweet generosity was so touching, a 7-year-old child thinking of others in spite of her need for regular blood transfusions. As Ella says, everyone can find a way to be generous.