Donating blood

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By Lee Scott

When I moved here two years ago I met a woman who volunteers at Blood drives. Prior to retiring, Sue had worked as a NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) nurse for 28 years. Now, she is still helping out in the healthcare industry by volunteering and drumming up business for the Red Cross.

Sue is also very persistent. She has a pleasant southern voice that sounds easy-going, but her voice changes and the passion comes out when she talks about blood drives. I have used every excuse I could think of with her over the years to not donate blood. It never stopped her.

“I have bad veins.” I would say. “No they look okay.” she would reply.

“I do not like pain.” “You’ll be fine.”

“I don’t drink orange juice.” “No problem we have apple juice and cranberry juice.”

Well, after two years of listening to her, I finally decided to consider donating blood. But first, I wanted to do some research. I typed into the search engine: “Why I should not give blood.” But all that kept coming up were the good reasons for me to donate blood. According to the assorted blood donation sites, the main reason to donate is because it saves lives. In addition, there is a need for blood all the time. Turns out that the blood bank needs to get filled regularly because it gets drained regularly. Sounds like a typical bank account.

I also discovered that you get a mini-physical. They check your blood pressure, your hemoglobin, your cholesterol and your pulse rate. Surely, that must be worth something for some people. But the best reason to donate blood came from Sue herself. One day she said, “We have a lot of people who need blood. What if it was someone in your family in need?” Fine! She got to me with that one.

So I made my appointment to give blood. There were lots of people sitting around that morning smiling as they relaxed afterwards. They carried their “I gave blood” stickers, bottles of juice and crackers. And at this particular drive, the donors received t-shirts. I also found out that some people donate multiple times a year. So stop giving excuses. Sue has heard them all. Sign up and just do it. Remember, the life you save may be your own or the life of a loved one.