Plasma Donation: More than just money - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Plasma Donation: More than just money


CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) -- There's no denying that a large portion of the people who donate plasma do so for the financial compensation, but one Cedar Rapids man donates as a tribute to his son.

Greg Larson's son lost his battle with cancer at just nine months old. Larson now donates twice a week at Biolife Plasma Services in Cedar Rapids as a tribute to his son's brave battle.

Greg says, "They move you through very quickly!"

Greg says the tiny needle prick feels like a bee sting. A painless, hour long process that compares in a lot of ways, to giving blood.

"When you do it for a while, it doesn't even phase you anymore."

And Bio life gives back to Greg. A donor can make up to fifty dollars per week, but cannot donate more than two times in seven days.

Ronda Harnish, BioLife Plasma Services - "This is a good way to do that and it helps our economy because we get to put the money right back out into the economy."


Halfway into the screening process which confirms a donor is at least 18 years old, and disease-free, Greg revealed the very personal reason for his donation.

"I had a nine-month-old baby son passed who away almost nine years ago from cancer. Although it wasn't involving plasma because we went through that experience and I know what it was like for him to be in the doctor's office it makes a big difference in my life."

A doctor oversees every Biolife plasma donation center and the company is federally regulated, including sites in Cedar Falls, Coralville and here in Cedar Rapids.

Ronda Harnish is the Cedar Rapids center manager of BioLife Plasma Services.

"The proteins are made into different medications that help people with diseases such as primary immune deficiency or Hemophelia. The only way that can be made is through human plasma. There's no way to make it synthetically."

So whether your reason for donating is financial or personal, if you're healthy enough to lend an arm, there's always a demand for plasma.

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