‘Tis the Season, Here’s the Reason to Give the Gift of Life (Los Altos Town Crier, Dec.2015)
‘Tis the Season, Here’s the Reason to Give the Gift of Life
My brother is not allowed to donate blood. He contracted hepatitis while serving in VietNam. My brother-in-law is not allowed to donate blood. He was exposed to malaria during his Peace Corps tour in Cameroon. My friend Nathan is not allowed to donate blood. Gay men are not allowed to donate for fear they might be carriers of HIV. My nephew is not allowed to donate blood. He has a genetic blood disease. My former boss is not allowed to donate blood. He travels to India every year to visit his family. For various reasons, almost two thirds of the US population are disqualified as blood donors. I am among the eligible 38%. I can, and I do.
Here’s my Top 10 Reasons to Donate Blood, in ascending order :
The blood center where I donate has lots of fun contests and give-aways to lure me in; for example:
10: The Stanford Blood Center where I donate has an annual competition with rival al’s Blood Center – you can help the local team!
9: The Stanford Blood Center hosts an Annual Barbecue for donors at their Mountain View center next door to El Camino Hospial – yummy!
8: You get other excellent freebies every time you donate: movie tickets, tickets to Stanford sports, Baskin-Robbins ice-cream coupons, photo books – it varies. C
7: If you donate four times in one year you get a really cool T-shirt.
6: Every time you donate you earn points toward more neat stuff – jackets, tote bags, license plate frames – check out what’s going on at your local blood donation center!
5: The cookies and punch in the recovery room are delicious.
At any blood donation center the following will be true:
4: You can get your blood tested for 17 infectious diseases and your temperature, cholesterol, and blood pressure checked, with no co-pay.
3: A pint’s a pound: Donating blood is an easier way to lose weight than three hours on the treadmill.
2: How many chances do you have to lie back in a comfortable chair with absolutely no interruptions for a half-hour?
And the final and best reason to donate blood:
1: You can save a life.
Less than 3% of the US population actually donates blood. Reasons given not to donate include”
“I’m afraid of pain” (It doesn’t hurt),
“I get dizzy at the sight of blood” (So close your eyes!), “
“I don’t know where to sign up” (http://bloodcenter.stanford.edu or call 888-723-7831 for a convenient time and location) ,
“I’m too busy” (It takes less than an hour, and you’ll feel so good afterward!)
And the #1 reason given for not donating blood (17%)
“I never thought about it.”
If you’ve read this far, you don’t have THAT excuse! Hope to see you at the Blood Bank!