This afternoon I went to a local church to donate blood. It is only a small gift I can give, but it is one I willingly offer every eight weeks. In fact, I’ve given so many times that the last time I donated, I made my two-gallon mark and received my pin. I wear it with pride.
Unfortunately, I was deferred for today’s gift because earlier this month I got my second Hepatitis B vaccine (a preventative I started when I was working in home health care.) My doctor and I decided it would be a good idea to continue the series of three shots just as a preventative. I didn’t realize it would keep me from one of my most helpful and caring ways of giving back for the next three months.
So, here is my challenge to you: Donate Blood for Me!!! Back in 2015, when I was in a serious car accident that left me hospitalized and then in a nursing home for over two months, I saw first hand the need for blood donations. I had several transfusions. In fact, I would not be here writing to you if that blood was not readily available. So I give, whenever I am eligible.
It is not hard to donate blood and it is totally safe. The Red Cross sterilizes everything. They and you are required to wear masks. They also wear gloves. You go to redcross.org and they will guide you through finding a blood drive near you. Then you can read through the materials and get your rapid pass so that you don’t have to sit around reading all the instructions once you are at the drive. You can either print out your rapid pass or save it to your phone and present it. You do have to be 18 (or 16 with parental permission) to give and have a driver’s license or state ID.
After the paperwork is done and the temperature taken, they will prick your finger and get an iron count. They will take your blood pressure, etc. If you are ok’d then they will take you to a cot to lay down while they clean your arm with antiseptic, insert a needle, and fill up a bag and a few vials for testing and donation. It’s pretty straight forward.
When you’re done they will take you to a table where you can get water or juice and something to eat. Your body will need to replenish itself and you might get a little dizzy. That’s it. Simple, right?
This one small gift can save up to three lives. Do it for me. Do it for the many people who never thought they’d need it, but then suddenly do. Do it for a friend or family member who was ill and needed a transfusion. Do it for you.