Sunday, July 20, 2014

Donating Blood for the First Time!

This month, I did something I've never done before...

...I donated blood!

I really can't believe it took me twenty-three years to become a blood donor. It's something I've been wanting to do for a while, so when my mother told me about an upcoming local drive, I told her to make me an appointment. 

Working in the world of healthcare, I am all too aware of the many situations in which someone urgently needs a blood transfusion. As the American Red Cross puts it, most people have blood to spare--so why not donate to those who are in need? After all, a single blood donation can benefit as many as three different people! I made my donation at St. Bartholomew's church in my neighborhood. Since 1981, St. Bart's has had 78 drives and collected 5,885 units of blood, which has, by average, saved over 17,500 lives!

I'll admit it--I was a little bit nervous when I sat down in the donation chair! But honestly, the experience was practically painless. It also took far less time than I expected--I was done in under ten minutes. I experienced a low blood pressure moment towards the end of my donation, but the donation staff took excellent care of me, adjusting my chair and bringing me a bottle of water while my body recovered. Then, I headed to the snack area where they had one of my favorite snacks, Pop Corners, waiting!

I wasn't the only donor at St. Bart's on July 11. 84 donors came to the drive and 78 units of blood were collected (60 regular and 9 double red cell). 11 high school students and 7 St. Bart's parishioners helped as volunteers throughout the drive. Thank you to all of the volunteers who were so kind, and special thanks to Mr. Tony Sciacca who is the chairperson of the St. Bart's blood drives. This was my first time donating, but I know from my family's experience that he takes the time to personally call and schedule blood donors for each and every drive.

I plan to donate blood again in the future, and you can join me! Here are a few ways to do so:

Donate at your convenience:
If you wish, credit your donation to St. Bartholomew's Church by specifying Group #7747

Donate at St. Bartholomew's next drive for parishioners and friends:
Friday, November 28, 2014
(St. Bart's holds three drives per year: one around Easter, one around the 4th of July, and one around Thanksgiving)

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