Three hundred and three

Give blood

My friend Clark Kim giving blood yesterday. The nurse encouraged him to put the photo on Facebook to get more people out to give blood. He also let me use it for the post. Click on the photo to go to Clark's blog on InsideToronto.com.

It’s a scary thought, giving blood.  That needle.  The light-headed feeling you get when you worry too much about something.  But approximately every minute of every day someone in Canada needs blood.  And 1 in every 2 of us are eligible to give our blood to help those  people.  It only takes an hour out of your time (from start to finish – the actual collecting of 1 unit/450 mL of blood takes only 15 minutes), costs you nothing, and you can save lives.  Unfortunately only 4% of eligible donors actually do give blood.  And a large segment of the most loyal donors will soon go from being at the age of giving blood, to needing it.

It’s really easy to do it, too.  You go online to the Canadian Blood Services website or call 1-888-2-DONATE (1-888-236-6283) to book an appointment.  You show up at your designated donation centre and your finger is pricked to test if your iron levels are high enough to donate.  Then you fill out a questionnaire to see if you are eligible, meet with a staff member and have your blood pressure and temperature taken.  Then you have the needle inserted (only a prick – it doesn’t hurt), sit for fifteen minutes giving blood, then you’re done!  That’s it.  You can find out more details about the steps and whether you are eligible on the website.

Think of it – fifty donations of blood are needed on average for serious car accident victims.  You or someone you love could need blood.  It’s worth taking the few minutes to see if you are able to give blood and then the hour out of your day to do it.  That is an amazing good deed.

I was supposed to give blood today.  I booked my appointment, made sure I was off work, and arranged transportation.  Unfortunately I have this damn cough that won’t go away.  I called them last night to see whether I could still give blood with the tickle in my throat.  They said it’s best to wait for a full recovery and re-booked me for next Wednesday.  I wanted to write about my personal experience, but alas, that will have to wait for another day.  I decided to still write about it today, though, because I think it’s an awesome good deed that doesn’t require money or even a lot of time or commitment .

So look up the Canadian Blood Services website right now (or the equivalent in your country, if you’re not in Canada).  It’s in you to give.

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