I received this email late last night from a friend of mine. We don't really know each other all that well, but our kids were in class together last year and we worked on some events at the school. I like her a lot. From what I have witnessed, I think she is a fabulous person, a loyal friend and an excellent mother. Did I mention her husband has been deployed for a very long time? I have changed the names to protect her identity, though some of you may have received this email as well and/or know her well enough to recognize who the author is. It's not important. What is important is the lesson. It is so easy to get caught up in our own lives, our busy schedules, our families, ourselves that we forget the little things. Many of us are healthy enough to do the simple selfless act of giving blood.
I have always been "needle shy". While in college I was frequently told I was borderline anemic. I don't even like to give blood for yearly well check tests. Heck, I didn't even let them put a needle in my arm when my kids were born. I am very pro non invasive medicine, you could say.
After reading this letter from my friend, I agreed, though she may have to hold me like I'm three years old, to go with her next time to give blood. I may even have to take a stuffed animal. I may pass out. What I am certain of, though, is that the donation I make has the potential to save three lives. I will keep my word, because I don't say something unless I mean it. If you would like to join us, contact me at my email firstname.lastname@example.org. Between the two of us, we can probably transport at least a dozen people. If you don't fancy travelling over the bridge, I am sure you can find a place on the island to donate blood. You have it and others need it. Dig deep and choose to help. We can all do something. You may find that giving a part of yourself away is one of the most fulfilling things you have ever done.
Here's the letter. Enjoy:
Dear Family and Friends~
If you are getting this email from me, I feel close enough to pass this story on to you. Today for the first time I gave blood at Balboa (Navy Med Ctr - San Diego). The girls and I were there for another appointment, we passed the blood donation center and I pulled them in. They turned white just walking through the door. My high school junior was too young to give (have to be 18 yrs old), so her color came back to her face immediately upon hearing that! So... that left me and my oldest.
They couldn't find a big enough vein in her arm so they told her to add a little weight lifting to her workout and come back next time she is in town. We'll visit the hospital again together in December.
I tried giving blood back at Villanova. Either my BP was too high or my pulse too fast and they sat me up as quickly as I laid down, I left the blood bank in tears as my boyfriend (now husband) stayed giving his blood (we dated all through college). Always been shy to go back, figuring they'd turn me away again. Today, with my girls, it was a good life lesson and it panned out. My BP was good, they found a vein and the blood oozed as the girls ate my cookies, drank my Gatorade, and when I said I did not need a blood donation volunteer T-shirt, they gave one to each girl!
Point of my story - as I was laying there I asked where the blood went, figuring it was distributed to all. Found out at Balboa some of the blood stays there to be used on the wounded warriors who are having continuous surgeries with their amputations. Most of the blood gets shipped overseas to medical facilities that take in those soldiers wounded while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. The rest of the blood is actually shipped out to the field to be used on sight for those wounded in combat.
As this very nice vampire, who was drawing my blood, is explaining that my blood most likely is going to a wounded soldier/sailor, I got very emotional and began to cry. Knowing that most of the blood collected at this military facility was going to those who risk their lives for me and my family was very overpowering. Maybe it's because my husband is over in Afghanistan, just thinking that my blood could be going where he is, where his guys are, was very powerful. One donation can save up to three lives.
Sometimes we just need a simple reminder. PLEASE, if you have a chance, go GIVE BLOOD! They are always in need and if you give at Balboa, it will most likely go to those who are away from their families, and already risked their lives, which is why they are using our blood. If you cannot get onto a military facility, go give blood at a civilian sight. Blood is blood and it helps someone. I tell you, it feels so good, it should be considered a selfish act! (Just be sure to eat, I wanted to watch my diet and didn't want the cookies and almost went down in the parking lot. My oldest drove me to food :) If anyone in Coronado is interested and not part of the military family, therefore cannot get onto Balboa, let me know and I'll take you. My plan is to visit every 8 weeks :)
A great slogan on the wall and T-shirts was "They gave their blood for you. Give your blood to them!" Enough said!
I hope to hear from some of you. Let's visit together and give a little of ourselves to help those who need it.
If you have something you would love to read about, please contact me at email@example.com.
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