Once again, FTSF Peeps, you have played right into my hand. Bwahahaha! She rubs her hands together and proceeds…
Let’s go back several years, no need to count how many, to the August of my 18th birthday. I had graduated that Spring, moved “away from home”, was legally (almost) an adult (19 is adulthood in the state of Nebraska) and excited to embrace two civic duties now available to me: 1) Vote* 2) Give blood.
The first was easily registered, the second wasn’t. Turns out to give blood I had to be 18 and have certain healthy weight and blood pressure qualifications, which I did not. I even tried to negotiate with the nurse, to no avail.
10% of those who can give blood, do
Years later I organized the blood drives at work, if I couldn’t give, at least I could facilitate others donating. Do you know only about 10% of all eligible adults in the US donate blood annually? Those adults are responsible for supplying the blood for 4.5 million patients who need blood every year. And about half of the donations come from drives at work, schools, or churches.
So I did what I could to provide the information necessary to educate and persuade people to take the time to give. Thankfully many of my coworkers did find the hour in their workday to roll up their sleeves and donate.
Eventually, I became healthy enough to donate, too. We joked with the nurses, chatted on the bus, cajoled and congratulated one another for giving. (My new shop isn’t big enough just yet to coordinate a drive. We’ll get there.)
Back to FTSF
When I first read the prompt, “I feel most like a hero when…” I cringed. Oh dear, what will I be able to do with that?
So I sat down with an actual notebook and pencil and as I wrote the sentence, the brain, hand, and pencil connected to fill in:
I feel most like a hero when I give blood.
Which tied in perfectly and conveniently with my birthday wish, coming right up…
I think of my son as a baby, his chest pried open to repair his heart.
Of my mother and her treatments.
Today, Gavin, fighting cancer right now, and what feels like yesterday, Nora did, and the millions of strangers who are children, mothers, fathers, friends…
Someone needs blood every two seconds.
Unfortunately, since 40, (again, no need to count back) giving blood isn’t as easy on me as it used to be. Not terrible, just a little “worse for the wear.” So I have to be cognizant of scheduling the time. I know that though I don’t feel great after, I feel 200% better than the person (or persons) who need the blood.
I don’t give on the 6-week schedule, I only work in about twice a year.
I’m not a hero.
Even so, 2x a year I can be a part of saving a life. (Or lives, each donation can go to up to 3 people.)
*If only one more percent of all Americans would give blood, blood shortages would disappear for the foreseeable future.*
August is my birthday month and I’m asking for two gifts. One is that you give blood; join my online blood drive birthday party here, please. It will bring a smile into my world, but more importantly will impact the stranger sitting by a person they love, praying for strength and another day…
-> https://sleevesup.redcrossblood.org/campaign/the-best-gift-ever/ Join in where ever you are! Send your photo, too and hashtag #BestiesGiveBlood
- This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday brought to you by Finding Ninee, join in here and fill in the sentence “I feel like a hero when…”
- *As I brushed up on my blood facts I discovered this one: 94 percent of blood donors are registered voters. Interesting. Most of the sound bites I included here came from this page: 56 facts about blood.
- Not sure if you’re eligible to give blood? Check here.
- Not eligible to donate? Help a friend! Watch their children while they donate, give them a ride, or help with a task so they can donate, you are helping make a significant contribution.
- If you have more money than time (some people do!) consider a donation to Gavin’s family.
I used to give blood on a regular basis. Then I had health issues. The doctor thought that maybe the regular donation was part of the problem and told me to cut it out. I still feel guilty that I’m not doing my part.
For sure don’t feel guilty! That, and I know from experience, doesn’t help. (Weird, I know) I think/hope bringing awareness to those who CAN give will help. Thanks for stopping by and sharing.
The first time I went to give blood, I’d gotten a tattoo within the past year (I think it was a year) and wasn’t allowed. Then, I did a few times, and the last time I went, they told me I was too anemic. I’ve fixed that (I think) and this is such a great reminder that no matter how we feel afterwards, the person who needs the blood feels worse. I didn’t know that about the 10%. Also, any mama who needs to wait while her baby gets heart surgery is a hero in her own right, fer sure, fer sure. Like TOTALLY and OMG. Checking out your link now. Thanks, actually. It’s such an easy thing to forget about doing to help, that helps SO much. mwah.
It’s sooo easy to lose track of time and let this slip, I do for sure! So, that’s part of why I’m making a deal out of it this year. Thanks!
Thank you for the reminder of how giving blood is a very simple act of love that SAVES LIVES. I gave blood last September and because of your post, I will sign up again! It’s easy to forget to contribute (oh, such busy lives..but then when we suddenly need blood- ) but it is so important!
Yea! Yes please and I agree, it’s super easy to lose track of time. My father gives on the rigid schedule, making the next appointment at each appointment, I’m not that good. Thanks!