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The Tale Of A Blood Donor Newbie

The Tale Of A Blood Donor Newbie

Today I gave blood. I’m actually embarrassed to say that this was the first time for me to donate blood. It’s not that I haven’t wanted to before but for some reason I just never seemed to get around to it.

What caused me to do it now was that I made a pledge to myself that this year over the holiday season I would make a point of giving back to others so one of the things I decided to do was donate blood. And I’m glad I did.

It was pretty easy to do. Once I located where a donation clinic was operating and arrived there I just had to provide some identification, confirm that I understood what was going to happen and answer a few questions. They then made sure that my iron levels were high enough and that my blood pressure was within the necessary range and then I just lay down as they inserted the needle and began to draw the blood. The whole process may have taken me about a half hour (it was probably a little longer for me given that I was a blood donor newbie).

The people that worked at the blood donation clinic were amazing. I lost count of the number of times people thanked me for coming in. At one point it was actually quite humorous as they were thanking me for coming, I was thanking them for volunteering – it was sort of like being part of a mutual admiration club.

I think the reason that everyone was so positive was because we realized that what we were doing was benefiting so many people.

One of the volunteers that I spoke with had been working with the blood collection services for eight years. She had decided to volunteer after a personal experience she had when she went to donate blood.

Years earlier while she was personally waiting to give blood, a volunteer at the clinic who obviously had some mobility difficulties thanked her three or four times for donating. She told the woman that she hadn’t even given blood yet so there wasn’t really anything to thank her for. The woman said that the fact that she was at the clinic meant that at some point she would give blood and for that reason alone she was so grateful.

As it turns out, this volunteer needed to be given blood on a weekly basis in order to deal with her illness. Just discovering firsthand how much giving blood made a difference to someone’s everyday life caused the volunteer that I was now speaking with to became a volunteer herself.

And giving blood does make a difference. At the clinic they told me that a single blood donation can help 4 people and it looks like there is lots of opportunity for more Canadians to help. According to the Government of Canada only 1 in 60 Canadians donated blood.

Here’s one person’s story of how receiving blood helped them.

So if you’re interested in donating blood, you can get more information at the Canadian Blood Services website or if you live in Quebec at the Hema-Quebec website.

As they say on the Canadian Blood Services website; “It’s in you to give.”

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