An old man walked up a shore littered with thousands of starfish, beached and dying after a storm. A young man was picking them up and flinging them back into the ocean. "Why do you bother?" the old man scofted. "You're not saving enough to make a difference." The young man picked up another starfish and sent it spinning back to the water. "Made a difference to that one," he said.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 13-The Gift of Life

Today my gift was a planned gift.  It has been on my calendar for weeks.  It was a gift, to be honest; I wasn’t looking forward to giving.  It is not that I didn’t want to give the gift, but more that I was anxious, nervous and a bit scared.

January is National Blood Donor Month and I had signed up to donate blood.  Our local high school, Kouts High School, was having a blood drive and this was my opportunity to give the gift of life and hopefully motivate others to do the same thing.
I have only given blood once back in 2008 when I was in the police academy.  We had a blood drive competition between the squads and since I am a competitive person I wasn’t going to chicken out in front of all the guys,  even though several others did.  I had a positive experience and not for sure why I was so worked up today. 

Prior to leaving I was anxious and trying to find every excuse in the book not to go.  We had received a couple of inches of snow last night and so I was convinced I couldn’t get out of my driveway or the roads were going to be too bad to drive.  But I knew none of this was true.
I arrived safely at the school, snow on the road in all.  I quickly learned that the majority of the people donating where high school students.  This was such an encouraging thing to witness.  All the chairs were filled with students giving blood.  I must admit, I was flattered when the man checking me in thought I was a student.  After I was checked- in I had to review several documents and then received a coupon from Culvers for a free pint of frozen custard.  Bonus! 

I anxiously waited for my number to be called.  My number was called and I met with a nurse who pricked my finger to test my hemoglobin.  All looked good so I got to move onto the questionnaire on the computer.  It was a bunch of, “Have you ever….” questions.  I completed the questionnaire and the nurse looked at the results and ask if I had traveled out of the country in the last year.  I stated, “Yes, to Mexico.”  She requested a list of all the placed I had traveled while in Mexico. I told her, “Cancun, Riviera Maya and Tululm.”  She says, “Tulum! You can’t donate blood if you have been to Tulum due to your risk for malaria.”  Who knew!
So my gift of life failed.  I was disappointed that I couldn’t give blood but maybe secretly relieved.   I will be able to try again in February.  Since I was unable to give blood I made a financial contribution to the American Red Cross.

Did you know…
·         The American Red Cross needs to collect 22,000 units of blood each weekday and
·         Around 15,000 units each weekend to meet patient needs
·         Every two seconds, someone needs blood.

To find a blood drive near you go to  I encourage you to donate blood and give the gift of life. 

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