'Finding True America': I 'donate' plasma 104 times a year to make a living
In America, blood means big business — making up 2.69 percent of total exports. The U.S. also supplies 94 percent of the paid plasma used around the world. In most countries, blood donation for compensation is banned, but the U.S. allows a person to "donate" plasma twice a week, or 104 times a year, for an average of $35 to $65 per visit.
Eleazar Sanchez is a Mexican immigrant who made extra money by "donating" plasma. Although he was paid $1,200 per month as an assistant at a nursing home, the income isn't sufficient to pay for his family's life in the U.S. He "donates" plasma twice a week and is paid around $500 per month, which he uses to pay the bills and rent. He has lived like this for over one year. "It's helpful, an extra help, but it's something I don't want to do forever," he said. There are many others like him.