Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Do you give?

My mother has given 43 pints of blood to others. Can you imagine? She has given every chance she got, and loves to tell the story of when she was working in downtown Phoenix down the street from a blood donation place and would go donate whenever she was having a bad day. "It was great. Everyone was so nice and appreciative. And afterwards you got a cookie." She loved the feeling that she'd helped someone, and it made her day.

I don't think it ever crossed her mind that some day she's actually need that blood herself.

In the last 3 months my mother has needed countless transfusions of platelets and whole blood to fill the void that the chemo created. Her blood counts are so low that she's dependent on others' kindness to keep her immune system up enough to fight even the smallest germ.

But 3 weeks ago my mother went to the hospital for her scheduled transfusion and when she got to the front of the line, they were out of blood.

I have O negative blood. I got it from my mother and it makes me a universal blood donor. I've always felt sort of special because of that. But even if I didn't have O negative blood, I would still donate as often as I could. They need every type of blood. I was brought up to believe that it was just something you do. Its a small thing you can do to help someone in need and it costs you nothing but your time.

I am constantly amazed by the fact that people don't donate blood. I'm super squimish and have passed out twice giving blood, but its so important that I still do it. I tell them up front to lean my chair back and then I'm just fine. And although the cookie afterwards is nice, I spend the rest of the day feeling good that I helped some nameless person.

But now I have someone in my life who needs the blood, and its not there. So I wonder about people who don't give. Really, it doesn't take that long, and you feel so good afterwards for doing something good for others. Donating is something that doesn't cost money and it directly helps other people.

So, do you give?


Anonymous jessica said...

I don't give - I faint, or nearly vomit every time. i think it's due to my naturally incredibly low blood pressure. there's no real excuse for not giving - but i make a conscious effort to do good in other ways, so i hope that balances out my karma :)

11:55 PM  
Blogger Goofy Girl said...

I give! They always ave blood drives so I've given a couple of times. I don't have 0 blood though, I am A.

I am also a bone marrow doner- they took a DNA sample and if I ever match with someone I will be asked to give a bone marrow donation which I would of course.

8:09 AM  
Anonymous Jenp said...

I give every 3 months! My work does a blood drive. I think I have a scar from where that HUGE needle goes into my vein! (but I know its for a good cause so i keep on giving!)

8:52 AM  
Blogger African Kelli said...

When I can, I do. I have my gallon certificate some where. My work in malarial zones makes it a bit tricky these days.

10:02 AM  
Blogger jt said...

I give regularly and have for over 25 years. I even browbeat my kids into doing it at least once each.

Positive thoughts pointed at your Mom.

11:25 AM  
Anonymous Bianca said...

I try to give (I'm O+, also universal), but frequently I am turned away because of low iron or because of a naturally running high temperature.

2:10 PM  
Anonymous Amanda Cowan said...

I admit I never have. Mostly because of being super afraid. I've never done well with needles. But, in the last few months with this pregnancy and thyroid thing.. I've been poked and drained so much that I think I will make it a regular thing after I have this baby..I have an O type (can't remember if it's + or -, but I have it on my medical card in my wallet), and it's often crossed my mind that I need to take advantage of my ability to help. I was thinking the other day about that.. I think my about what would happen if my daughter needed blood and it wasn't there and how I would feel if I had never given, yet all of a sudden needed it.. It's definitely changed my perspective on it especially now that I know that I will truly survive the poke.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Lil' Bit said...

i can't give, even if i wanted to. i need another 20lbs on me before i can. i have no problem with needles either so i wouldn't mind doing it at all. although i did sort of give once, a doctor had me store a unit of my own blood before my last surgery. the 1st thing i asked when i woke up was where my stored blood was. the nurse wouldn't tell me, so who knows maybe my "giving for myself" actually went to someone else. i hope it did. it's the only way they'll ever let me give.

8:34 PM  
Anonymous Em said...

Since I was 17 I have given blood ... not exactly, regularly, but whenever it was convenient.

The Blood Mobile (when it comes to the office) is a great idea, and I am very glad I have big veins.

5:59 AM  
Anonymous Joe Coomer said...

I give twice a year. I dig the free juice.

7:45 AM  
Blogger M said...

I keep trying (twice this year so far) but they keep rejecting me for low iron. I guess I'll go lick a frying pan and try again.

6:25 PM  

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