Monday, June 25, 2007

Give Life

I donated blood this afternoon. I sometimes pass out when I donate. I usually feel faint and I hate the needle sticking in my arm. It hurts. So, why do I donate?

When I was young, I started donating blood with all my math department friends once a year. We worked across the street from the Blood Bank and it was a social activity. In those days I didn't even weigh the 110 pounds necessary to donate so I loaded my pockets with heavy stuff to tip the scales. My friend L was over the 110 pound limit but only because he was over 6 feet tall. Everyone would donate and be up and out in 30 minutes. L and I would lay there suffering.

For many years I stopped donating. It was stupid to torture myself. Then I had some surgery and donated blood before the surgery in case I needed it. (I didn't want blood that wasn't mine in me if I could help it.) Luckily I had an easy time. When my mom was first diagnosed with Mylo fibrosis and we found out she would need transfusions every few weeks, I started donating again. Although my blood didn't go directly to my mom, I wanted to do my part to replace the blood she was receiving. People donated so she could live. I wanted to help others live too.

Now that my mom is gone I plan on donating just as regularly as I always have (about 4 or 5 times a year). First I did it in her honor, now it is in her memory. The prick of the pin and the faintness I feel pass quickly. The lives I might be helping to save go on for a long time.

1 comment:

ms. whatsit said...

When I was a kid, I was diagnosed as borderline anemic (whatever that really means) and was told that I shouldn't give blood. So, I never bothered until a couple of years ago. I survived of course, though the experience made me very light-headed. I'm a universal doner, so it makes me feel especially good knowing that my blood can help anyone.

Thanks for reminding me that I probably ought to give again.