Several years ago, I was driving to work and I heard an interview on the radio. The gentleman was in his 70’s, and had just made his 100th blood donation through the American Red Cross. I had donated a few times when I was young, but then got married and started having children. I was not able to donate while I was pregnant or nursing children, so many years went by. I got busy and forgot to go back to donating. So when I heard this interview, a light bulb went on in my head and I then decided I wanted to do the same. No matter how busy I was, there is always time for this. I began donating every 8 weeks and found myself looking ahead for the next blood drive. While raising five children, there is not always a lot of extra money to donate, so this was a way for me to donate.
I hit a roadblock along the way and was diagnosed with a blood disease caused by a medication I was taking. The testing at the blood drives helped to find this issue. Each time you donate, you get a mini-physical. They do blood pressure, iron level, pulse rate, and temperature. While I was saddened that I had to stop donating for a couple years, I was grateful I was able to get better. I was able to continue donating and am now working toward the next milestone – 5 gallons.
Each time you donate, you receive an email telling where your blood was sent to help. One donation can help up to three people. When that email arrives, my heart is full. With all the natural disasters we have had in recent years, thousands of blood drives have been canceled leaving the Red Cross at extreme shortages. It only takes about 45 minutes to be screened and make the donation.
While I know donating blood is not for everyone, I have found it to be a “look forward to moment” in my life. I have made new acquaintances at the drives and have become friends with some of the nurses. If you have any questions, please let me know. With the two upcoming blood drives at our offices, WE WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE. If you cannot donate, you can volunteer by working the check-in table and handing out snacks after the donation process.