SAN DIEGO — Susanne De La Flor is a FOX 5 Remarkable Women of San Diego finalist, an initiative that recognizes the valuable contributions women make in our community and beyond.
De La Flor is a local businesswoman, event organizer and mom of three who is credited with helping to save more than 3,600 lives. She started a blood drive 14 years ago after a health scare in her own family.
“I needed blood in childbirth. I had to have five blood transfusions,” De La Flor said.
De La Flor said the drive started with one bus in front of the courthouse on a Friday with lawyers, judges and anyone who walked by invited to donate.
“We ended up with three buses, and we would get like 120 people to give blood on one day,” De La Flor said.
She made giving blood fun with volunteers often wearing costumes to help get people excited about saving lives. The blood drives have helped raise 12,000 pints of blood.
“Even people that are afraid of giving blood or afraid of needles now preach it. They just go, ‘Hey, if I can do it, you can do it,'” she said.
De La Flor is also heading up another initiative to make San Diego a safer place.
“Almost 10 years ago, my husband had a cardiac arrest. If there was a defibrillator, he would’ve been fine,” she said. “He was lucky enough to live. Unfortunately, he has a brain injury and can never work.”
She’s now an advocate for placing defibrillators in public places, particularly outdoors, to help save lives.