Niki Taylor Talks Giving the Gift of Life

The supermodel tells MC why donating blood is so very important.

I've been a fan of supermodel Niki Taylor since she first hit the covers of my favorite teen magazines years ago and I basically wanted to be her. She's an even more impressive lady to admire now. I got a chance to catch up with her about her work with the American Red Cross and World Blood Donor Day ... and a little snippet into what this busy working mom is up to this summer.

Let's start with this program you're working on to raise awareness about blood donation. Why is it so important?

As an ambassador for the American Red Cross, I am working with the Nexcare give program to raise awareness about the need for increased blood donation surrounding World Blood Donor Day #8212; Tuesday, June 14. Many people don't realize that nearly 6 million American require a blood transfusion #8212; that's one person every two seconds! My goal is to spread the word about the need for more blood donors. Go to (opens in new tab) to learn more.

Nexcare Bandages and the American Red Cross are encouraging people to get out and donate blood by giving away free Nexcare give bandages, beginning on Tuesday, June 14. It's a way of thanking those who give and encouraging others to get involved. This year, the bandages are extra fun and chic with fashion-inspired designs that show how helping save a life is always in style. As a supporter of blood donation and a lover of fashion, I think the Nexcare give bandages are a perfect way to encourage people get out there and donate. Personally, the zebra print is my favorite!

I think people believe that in America there will always blood available if they need it. Talk a little bit about why it's vital that we don't forget about donations.

That's true, but it's actually a misconception. The truth is that only about eight percent of Americans that are eligible donate blood each year. And summer is an especially important time because blood centers often experience shortages because of vacation schedule and other seasonal distractions. This is why I teamed up with Nexcare Bandages and the American Red Cross to raise awareness about World Blood Donor Day with the Nexcare give program. It's so important that people think about the ways they can give back to others, like giving blood. Remember that all blood types are needed, especially type O negative because it can be used with all types of blood recipients.

Why is it so personal for you?

In 2001 I was in a near-fatal car accident and needed over 100 units of blood. I owe my life to the donors and the American Red Cross who supplied the blood when I needed it. I can tell you first-hand that when you donate blood, you are literally giving the gift of live to some in need. And as you can see that I feel especially connected to World Blood Donor Day as a celebration of those who donate and help save lives.

What can the average woman do to get involved, even outside of donating herself?

Of course, I encourage all women to get out there and donate, but it is equally as important to encourage others to donate and spread the word about the need for more blood donors. Women really influence there friends, so think about all the unique ways you can spread the word, whether it be Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc. think about all the different ways you can reach your friends and family about the need for more blood donation. There are so many ways to show your support and encourage blood donation well beyond the actual act of donation.

What would you say to someone who is nervous about donating?

Don't be! There's nothing to be afraid of! I think it's always comforting to talk with someone who has previously been a donor. But trust me that the actual experience of donating blood just feels like a little pinch and the technicians are always friendly and make you feel extra comfortable. And of course, it always calms my nerves to remember that my blood donation is helping to save lives.

What are your plans for the summer?

This summer is all about family time! I plan on spending a lot of time at home with my husband and family down in Nashville. I love being active and enjoying the warm weather, but of course I'll be busy planning for the new baby's arrival in November.

What's your best advice for a young woman trying to make it in business (any business) or a working mom trying to juggle it all

I try to live by the rule do what makes you happy. I feel lucky that because of the nature of my job, I am presented with a lot of amazing opportunities; so many that it can be a little overwhelming! I'm someone who likes to keep busy, especially with projects that I find meaningful and fulfilling. That's why I am involved with the American Red Cross and other great organizations. If I can encourage others to do good through my work, then I feel good both in my work and personal life.

What is the greatest life lesson you've learned?

My greatest life lesson has been that life can change in a second. This is why it's important to always live your best possible life and to do what you can for others.