Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Give What You've Got

If there is one thing that I feel very strongly about, it is that everyone should give blood (if eligible). On the radio yesterday they were saying that Canada is suffering great shortages of blood donations and will need at least 50,000 donations in the next few weeks to meet the demands for the rest of the summer. That’s a lot of needed blood!

I bet that every single person reading this knows someone who has needed blood. My family has been affected by automobile accidents, cancer and extensive surgical operations (heart & hip), all of which would need substantial amounts of donated blood. I mean, a car accident victim can need up to 50 units of blood to save the life! That means that 50 donors need to give blood just to help save one life. That might be your mom’s life, or your son’s, or even your own life.

A few years back, my friend and I went to the blood services clinic in Charlottetown to give blood. We were pumped! Neither of us had ever donated before and we were stoked to get the opportunity to help out our fellow man by giving the gift of blood (it’s in us to give). After arriving and filling out some basic paperwork, we were separated into private rooms for the more personal questions and paperwork (like how many prostitutes I had ever slept with) and into the big leather chair I went! After much poking and prodding, they deemed my veins too small and ridiculous to be able to donate that day. It was recommended that I go home, drink tons of water and come back another day. Hopefully my veins would be more cooperative with more fluid running through them.

Feeling slightly defeated, I headed back to the waiting room to wait for my friend. I was surprised to see her waiting for me there and quickly found out that she was unable to donate as well because of a heart condition that she had. We were both feeling very bummed out at this point. Two people who wanted to actually give blood were turned away because of a slightly faulty heart and teeny tiny arm veins.

When I went back the following week with a body crammed full of water, they were still unable to get much out of me and told me that I am not a candidate for giving blood. And to think I gave up getting tattooed for 2 years so that I could donate (now it’s only a 6 month wait).

We were the rare people who are not eligible to donate, but chances are that you are the part of the population who can! If you check out the Canadian Blood Service website, there is a list of requirements to be a donor. Go ahead. See if you can be a donor!

So why aren’t people donating? I am betting that the two main reasons that people do not donate are: 
1) Sissies!  
2) No time/do not think about it.

So you’re afraid of needles and don’t like to give blood. In the big scheme of things, is your comfort that important that it is keeping you from saving a life? Doesn’t it sound a little silly to say “Oh, I can’t save your dying sons life because I don’t like needles.” Yup….sounds pretty ridiculous. Think of all of the things that we do which are not enjoyable but do anyway because they are for our own health. Pap smears, prostate exams, dental appointments, colonoscopies…etc. Not fun or comfortable. But all can save a life.

You don’t have the time or you don’t think to give blood. Write it on your calendar or program it into your phone to set a reminder to make an appointment or to go online and fill out an application. Make the time. Think about it. Enough said.

Did I mention that you get cookies, cake and juice after you give blood? Yes, I am willing to add bribery methods to get you in there.

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