Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The American Red Cross Needs You!

Last night, I went to tuck in my youngest son and he said that he'd already been in bed for an hour.  He hadn't eaten much yesterday, actually even less than he usually eats, which wouldn't necessarily keep a gnat alive.  When he said he'd already been tucked in for an hour, I felt his forehead and almost burned my hand.  Mom mode took over and I jumped into action with the ibuprofen, thermometer, and hugs.

When my kids were little and got sick, I always had this weird idea that they were going to be sick forever.  Little viruses and stomach bugs were cause for panic.  I've always wished it was me that got sick when they looked at me with those eyes that say, "Mom, please make me feel better."  Oh, how I wish I could take their pain on myself when they come down with something.

Yesterday, Justin, Ben, and I went to donate blood.  I got deferred because my hemoglobin was too low by two tenths of a point, but Justin and Ben were able to give.  We give blood now because a beautiful little girl got sick last year and, no matter how hard the doctors worked, they couldn't make her better.  While she was in treatment, she needed regular blood transfusions.  It had never occurred to me that the blood supply might not be there if I needed it, but it's a fact.  There just isn't enough donated blood.  I had never given blood before this past August - never even thought about it.  Yesterday, a Red Cross volunteer told me that over 95% of people will either need a blood transfusion in their lives or be closely related to someone that will.  Only 5% of the population actually donates.  Unfortunately, we've already fallen into that 95% of people who are close to someone who needs blood.

We now give blood regularly.  I have it written on my calendar.  I'm working on getting my hemoglobin up so I can go back in two weeks.  If you've never considered donating blood, please think about it.  It doesn't take long, it's almost painless, and it might save a life.  Someone, somewhere might be saved by the blood you donate.  Do a selfless, generous thing the next time the American Red Cross is in your town.  Think about the fact that you or someone you know will probably need a transfusion someday and donate.  You'll never know the good you are doing, but someone, somewhere will be thanking you.

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