By George Brown
Would you consider doing something to save another person’s life, if you could do so while taking a 20 minute catnap and then get up and eat ice cream and cookies to celebrate? And what if saving another person’s life would provide a deep sense of personal satisfaction without costing you so much as one thin dime? If this idea appeals to you, I have a New Year’s resolution you will enjoy and can actually keep.
Resolve today to become a blood donor.
Before you panic from the thought and fear of a tiny little needle pricking your arm, let me share a few brief stories with you from the Red Cross website. NOTE – None of these individuals would be alive today were it not for the gift of life provided by blood donors – you cannot manufacture blood.
“At age 41 I gave birth to my last child, my miracle baby. He was two month premature, but the problem was not with my baby. When the doctors were completing my C-section I began losing blood due to a condition called placenta accreta. I would have bled to death had I not received 6 units of blood. Today I am enjoying being Mom to my 11 year old son. I’m also a blood donor and give thanks to those donors who saved my life.”
“I’m 23 and I have a rare blood disorder for which there is no cure. The only treatment is blood transfusions. During my life I have received at least 150 – 200 transfusions. I would die if people did not give blood. I’m grateful to anyone that has donated and will donate in the future. Thank you!!”
“Wow, how quickly things can change. I went from a healthy 63 year old to a man fighting for my life. I was diagnosed with ITP, a blood clotting disorder. I received 50 units of blood during my month long hospital stay…My family and I will be forever grateful to those who donated platelets and whole blood to be available for me.”
Let me say this again – YOU CANNOT MANUFACTURE BLOOD. These individuals and tens of thousands like them would die every year were it not for the kind act of blood donors allowing a tech to make a tiny little painless prick in their arms, and then relaxing (even catnapping) for the 20 minutes or so it takes for that precious life giving liquid to fill a little pouch – not enough to even notice or miss.
You may feel this is just too scary for you to do and assume there are plenty of other Good Samaritans who will take care of this need. Consider these Red Cross statistics. Although an estimated 38percent of Americans are eligible to donate, fewer than 10percent actually do. Every ten seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. The average transfusion recipient needs three units of blood. More than 1.6 million people were diagnosed with cancer last year, many of whom need blood transfusions. And finally, a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.
It’s true, for health or other reasons some people are not eligible to donate. But are you among the 28 percent of Americans who are eligible to donate but have never given it a try? Do you think you are too old? Many donors are in their 70s and 80s, and I read of one woman who continued as a donor until well into her 90s.
I’ll make you an offer I hope you can’t and won’t refuse. I’ll be your blood donor buddy. I’ll go with you the first time and walk you through the process, and will continue to go with you (or arrange for another buddy to do so) until you are ready to be a blood donor buddy yourself. Call me (218-3157) or send me an email (email@example.com). Do it today!
George Brown is a freelance writer. He and his wife, Yvonne, live in Jackson Township.