Just an ordinary lifesaver

Lachen, Switzerland
Donor Stories
Donor story

"Hopefully my plasma has prolonged the lives of many."

Octapharma Plasma donor

“I would like to think of myself as a ‘lifesaver’,” says Mike, an Octapharma Plasma donor. “Hopefully my plasma has prolonged the lives of many.” He started donating plasma more than a decade ago, mostly to help out when he and his family relocated and to earn a little extra cash for Christmas. “I donated at a competitor agency for three years before coming to Octapharma in June of 2010,” he recalls.

One donation can save lives in various ways

Plasma in our bodies helps protect us from infection and blood disorders. It also plays a vital role in coagulation. In their many medical applications, plasma-derived therapies help millions of people around the world every year with lifethreatening conditions, including primary immunodeficiency and bleeding disorders, as well as in critical care and emergency settings.

These therapies are genuinely life-saving, but they rely on donations which is why, at Octapharma, our plasma donors are as important to us as our patients.

Changing motivation

Times have changed for Mike since he first donated. His kids have graduated college and moved out on their own. “I can honestly say that I don’t donate for the money any more,” he says.

Originally, donating for Mike was a race with a friend to reach 1,000 donations. Unfortunately, his friend became ill and is now unable to donate. “But when I was at donation 700, that goal of mine to hit 1,000 donations came back strong,” remembers Mike, with a laugh.

There are two reasons Mike still donates regularly. “The first reason is knowing that I am doing good for so many other people around the world.” The second reason is more personal: Mike’s wife had a liver transplant in 1997. “We didn’t meet until June of 2004, but I know she’s been the recipient of plasma, so that keeps me going – knowing I am making a difference to people just like her,” he proudly explains.

A community on a mission

Octapharma Plasma, Inc. (OPI) is not just a place for Mike to donate; it’s a community, where everyone understands the importance of their mission. That’s another reason why Mike continues to donate at OPI. “During these 13 years, I have got to know all of the employees there, as well as the other donors”, he says. “I have seen a lot of people come and go and have even spent more hours there than some of the newer staff. Seeing them weekly makes it feel as though they are a part of my extended family. They are great people.”

Mike is committed to donating twice a week. He has no plans to stop any time soon. “I am currently over 1,200 donations, and I am looking forward to continuing to donate for as long as I can.”

Octapharma Plasma

Reaching new heights in plasma collection

Octapharma Plasma, Inc. (OPI) collected a record volume of plasma in 2023, as it began to implement a new strategy to improve donor experience and employee engagement. OPI added eight donor centres during the year, bringing the total to 175, while a strong focus on cost management reduced the total cost per litre of plasma.



Annual report