Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giving Blood

(Warning: Strong Opinion Post)

Some people are terrified of it, some people don't do it, some people think about doing it, there are the people that give blood once or twice and then there are those people that give every chance they can. I am one of those people and I happen to be fairly passionate about it. I know it can sometimes be a touchy subject, the people who don't give it, that is their choice, but I have a really hard time understanding why people can't make that small sacrifice to save lives. So its scary, so you might pass out, honestly, who cares?

I was giving blood today at work and talking to the guy from Virginia Blood Services about my blood type, etc and he was saying that I was CMVNegative, which he explained means my blood can be given to babies and that right now in the Richmond Area there are two babies sucking up the blood supply, that blood supply is keeping them alive. I can't imagine how those parents are feeling, watching their little ones fight for their lives, but I sure can do my part and make the fight a little easier.  He went on further to explain that we have 400 people in the Richmond Area counting on the blood....DAILY. After you give blood with Virginia Blood Services you get a phone call a day or two later from someone whose life was saved by someone donating blood, the last few calls I have received have been little children thanking me for saving their lives and the lives of others just like them, its just a voice recording but it never fails, I have tears streaming down my face after the quick 20 second message finishes playing. (Smart move on their part to use little children)

This one hits home, no Avery didn't need any blood while she was in the NICU, but she could have, and just thinking about that breaks my heart, people live and die every single day because of the choice we make to either donate or not.

Here are a few stories:

Christiane Holmberg Potes
When I was 14, I collapsed at church one night with a terrible headache. I was rushed to St. Mary's Hospital in Richmond where they discovered that I had had a deadly brain hemorrhage. It took hours of surgery and the blood from 42 people to save my life. Today I'm married and have two children, and I work as a nurse. I'm a walking talking miracle, thanks to blood donors.

Amanda Fitzgerald
I am 15 years old, and I have sickle cell anemia. Each month I have blood transfusions at MCV Hospitals in Richmond. My parents and my sister go with me every time. Blood donors are my heroes, along with my father and mother. I'm sure your blood will go to someone who appreciates it, too.

Mark Lindsey
Several years ago, in my freshman year at the University of Virginia, I caught a flu that seriously damaged my heart. It ended my football career and after months in the hospital, I was lucky to receive a donated heart. The blood from nearly 200 people saved my life, and today I'm married and have a new daughter.

I mean think about it, those are just 3 stories and all of them gave me goosebumps.  I think about the people my blood is going to help, I wonder if those people are going to go on and change the world, if one of them might be my sweet Olivia's future husband, or to a sick medical student working on cancer research, or to even the teacher who might make all the difference in Avery's life, you never know the impact something like this could have on someones life. I think about it a lot, and honestly, I wish the people who don't take the time to give did too...


Jeni said...

I couldn't agree more. I don't get not being an organ donor either.

maura said...

I completely agree. I have to admit, when I hear someone give the "I'm afraid of needles" excuse, I kind of want to strangle them.