Friday, 11 August 2017

Why I donate and why it is so important

So this morning I would like to have a little chatty chat about donation, more specifically blood donation.

Blood donation is something that is incredibly important to me, my grandfather donated for many years and in the end its actually how he discovered he had cancer, the blood bank called him to say that there was something in his blood that needed to be checked and ensured that he saw a doctor which he did.

Did it stop his cancer or his eventual passing? No, but it meant that the time and love he gave in blood helped him pick up the cancer in its earlier stages and even though it was unfortunately a very progressive and fast moving type of cancer it allowed him to get treatment early and allowed us more time and preparation.

My grandfather was an amazing man and after he passed away my mother in turn made a point of going to donate it was very important to her and seeing this meant that when I was 18 I was very eager to donate myself, unfortunately when my mom took me I was pregnant and thus could not donate although my mother thought it was for other reasons, then after that I couldn’t donate due to pregnancy and then my c section anyway it only made me even more determined as after my c sections and various other surgeries I bled… a lot and needed blood transfusions on more than one occasion.

Those transfusions saved my life, imagine how many lives are saved on a daily basis, young and old, accident or planned you can give a person a chance.

All it takes is a clean bill of health and twenty minutes of your time, that’s it I swear, every 8 weeks you will receive a call or sms to inform you when the next blood drive will be taken place at your preferred donation point, you rock up fill out a 2 page questionnaire, they take your iron and blood pressure and bobs your uncle, one small needle and a pint later you can save up to 3 lives.

Now I have both iron and blood pressure issues so there have been many times I have been turned away but I will not give up because it is just so incredibly important and aside from doing it for others it is also a great way to teach your children about the transfusion process and why giving blood is such a wonderful and important thing to do so in turn when they are 18 they will go on to donate as well.

Blood reserves are incredibly low, the blood bank usually only has a reserve for about a week, which is scary if you consider the amount of people who do donate, that should give you an indication of how many people require blood on a daily basis, and if they don’t get it they will die, that could be a 5 year old child or your own child for that matter, how would you feel sitting there by your child’s bed and being told that there was nothing they could do because there was no blood available and sometimes there is just not enough time to donate yourself, or you may not be eligible you may not be a match or the amount you can donate may not be enough dependent on how much is needed… all things to get the wheel going.

I know there are people who can’t because of health or religious reasons or even phobias, I can promise you that if you are simply anxious the process is painless and simply and the nurses are wonderful.

I really want to encourage everyone who can give up 20 minutes of your time and help make a difference its free and depending on which location you go to you can go during lunch or on your way home, I walked down to our location yesterday and back and I was back at my desk during my lunch time after 25 minutes and as I said I walked so that time is included.

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