Carisa Barker, a 20-year-old self-described "shopaholic", has made more than $3,000 by "donating" blood plasma, which she does twice a week. She uses the money from
donating selling her blood to fund her shopping addiction, according to the NY Post.
She has spent a year visiting a donation clinic twice a week to donate plasma in exchange for cash. She nets about $280 per month from her donations and has brought in $3,360 over the course of one year. She recommends the practice as an "effortless way to make money", according to the article.
Barker said: "I would absolutely recommend it to people who are short of cash and want to go shopping. I donate plasma twice a week. I get $20 the first time and $50 the next time. It’s just a little bit of extra money that I can spend that I don’t feel I worked very hard for.”
Barker admits she hits the mall "about three times a week" and that she spends about $600 per month on clothes.
She continued: “I’m a shopaholic and I would shop every day if I could. I usually go three or four times a week. Clothes and shoes are my favorite things to buy and I also love beauty products. On each shopping trip I only spend about $50 but that adds up to $150 a week. If I see something that I like or there’s a discount or a good deal, I’ll just buy it. I feel powerful knowing that I have the money and I can buy stuff.”
Plasma is a yellowish fluid in blood that remains after white and red blood cells and platelets have been removed. It is made of water, salts, proteins and enzymes and can be used in medicine that help people suffering from burns, shock and trauma. And plasma donors - unlike blood donors - are offered cash for their donations.
She began donating at BioLife Plasma Services in Layton, Utah last summer after a friend suggested it. BioLife said: “Donors also must meet screening criteria for blood count (hematocrit) and total protein levels, along with other screening criteria, prior to each donation – additional testing is done every four months. BioLife adheres to those standards as part of our commitment to the highest standards of safety for our donors and our products that go out to patients."
Barker said: “One of my friends does it and she took me with her one time. I just kept doing it. I do it as often as I can, which is usually twice a week. It takes about an hour and a half each time I go," she said.
She continued that "as long as I eat a lot of protein before I go and stay hydrated, I feel fine. There are no health risks that I know of and my parents are fine with me doing it. My plasma is used to make medicines for people with rare diseases. It makes me feel good to know that I’m helping people. I plan to keep donating.”
“My friends have told me to stop shopping but I can’t. I live at home and all of my money goes on shopping. I would save a lot of money if I stopped but as long as I have money that I can spend, I’m going to keep doing it. If I was ever at a point where I didn’t have money, I would stop. Shopping is my biggest expenditure but I also spend a lot on travel.”
And of course, she updates her followers on her plasma donation and shopping addition on her very own YouTube channel.