As I have mentioned previously, I was diagnosed with leukemia in October. As part of my treatment, I regularly receive blood and platelet transfusions after chemotherapy.
While I sit watching the bags drip into my arm in the hospital clinic, I cannot help but think about the people who have taken the time — and weathered the brief poke in the arm — to make sure that someone they didn’t know (like me) would be able to fight leukemia or deal with other of life’s challenges. (My donated blood comes from the New York Blood Center where, ironically, my Community Emergency Response Team has our monthly meeting.)
“Blood is traditionally in short supply during the winter months due to the holidays, travel schedules, inclement weather and illness. January, in particular, is a difficult month for blood centers to collect blood donations. A reduction in turnout can put our nation’s blood inventory at a critical low.”
In the past, I have donated blood sporadically. But, of course, I now have an increased appreciation for the blood donor.
So, please consider blood and platelet donation. On its newly-revamped website, the American Red Cross has information about giving. It also has a site, www.givelife.org, and a toll-free number, 1-800-448-3543, to find blood drives in your area.
It is a relatively easy way that all of us can contribute to our society’s preparedness for emergencies. And personally, I thank you in advance.