By Jan Schultz, The Imperial Republican News Editor
Last Thursday, I decided to try to give blood again when the Red Cross Bloodmobile was in town.
I knew, from many years of news coverage here, that the July Bloodmobile often falls short of its goal due to the busy farming time and vacations.
So, I thought I’d give it another try, encouraging my son and husband to donate, as well.
Despite being turned down because of low iron my last three attempts, I had a strong nudge to try anyway last week from my co-worker Karen Hayes, who coordinates the Bloodmobile twice a year.
I really didn’t want to try again, because I feared being deferred once more.
After telling the Bloodmobile nurse I hoped I wasn’t wasting her time again, the finger prick found my iron was great and my blood pressure perfect this time.
So all went well, and I reached my second gallon of blood donations that day.
As I recalled my reasons for starting to give blood some 20 years ago, I looked over at my son on the chair nearby, who was donating for the first time. I had a bit of trouble when he was born, and lost several units of blood before and during his delivery.
Luckily, there was plenty of blood available for us in the hospital during that critical time at his birth.
After that, I pledged to begin donating blood, at least to replace the four or five units I used that day nearly 21 years ago. I’ve been happy to continue beyond that because it makes me feel good that I may be helping someone in a situation like I had been.
A little emotion also crept in last Thursday, as I watched my son effortlessly donate his first unit of blood just across the room.
Only 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate, and just a fraction of those eligible actually do. It’s important we consider changing that statistic.
If you are healthy and at least 16 years of age (with parent’s consent), weigh at least 110 lbs. (I certainly have no problem meeting that requirement!) and can spare an hour a couple times a year, why not consider becoming a blood donor?
When the next Bloodmobile comes to town, consider giving blood. It gives you a good feeling.