Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why I Give

On Oct 8, 2010, I was at Canadian Blood Services to give my usual Platelet donation. The Telegram was there doing a story on blood donations and why people give blood. They approached me and asked if I would like to be interviewed, on camera, which would be seen on YouTube and on the Telegram website. I told them I wouldn't mind and in a short while Gerry Carew from The Telegram came over to where I was donating, while sitting in my large comfortable armchair. He placed the camera in front of me and then told me to say my name and then say whatever I like about giving blood.

Well there is a reason people on television sound so good and things flow from their mouths like they are the worlds best speakers; they have a written script that they practise before going on camera. Unfortunately I didn't have a script or very much time to figure out what I wanted to say, hence the "uhs", "ums" and fumbling with the words in my 49 seconds of fame! I think I got the message out there, probably the most wonderful thing and most rewarding thing you could do is give blood.

My first recollection of "giving blood" was with my father, who was a blood donor of the Canadian Red Cross, the precursor of Canadian Blood Services. It was at that time located on Duckworth Street near the Hotel Newfoundland. Actually I believe the building is still there, and is now the home of LeMoines School of Esthetics and Hair Design. I was always excited to go with Dad as it meant while I waited I got to have cookies and juice. Of course being a the cute little red haired kid I was, the nurses always slipped me an extra cookie or two when my dad wasn't looking!

My father eventually got my mother involved in giving whole blood. My father no longer gives, after giving over 100 donations of whole blood, as he is past the age which you can give. My mother still gives whole blood and has given well over 100 donations of whole blood herself. I started giving when I was still a teenager back in the 1980's. I started giving platelets in 2009, shortly after I became employed by the Canadian Cancer Society. I was asked by the Canadian Blood Services if I would consider giving platelets and they gave me a pamphlet to bring home and to think about it. After a little reading and a search on the Internet, I realized that Platelets were a major factor in the treatment for Cancer. And considering Platelets have a shelf life of only about 5 days, there was a very good chance that my platelets would be used to help someone at Daffodil Place, where I worked. I get to see my platelets working first hand; even though confidentiality prevent me from seeing exactly who received my platelets, just knowing someone I probably spoke with received them, was a tremendous feeling.

So to answer my original question; Why do I give blood? That question can only be answered one way; because it feels damn good! Not just because you know you are helping to save someone's life, which of course should make you feel good, but it makes you feel physically good! After donating I always feel revitalized, just the thought of the blood being renewed (in the case of whole blood donation) within your body. It makes your limbs feel better, makes you brain clearer and gets your heart pumping new fresh blood throughout your veins! I always look forward to my next donation and it keeps me coming back. If something feels good why would you give it up? Sitting in the chair is so relaxing, and the nurses look after you like you are a King/Queen on a throne. In my many years of donating, the clinic has always been a happy place. There is always lots of laughter between the donors and the nurses, many who have been working there many, many years. Being a regular donor, they get to know you and call you by your first name, like you are part of their family.

What more can I say? Being a blood donor, you have the ability to give someone the greatest gift known to mankind; the gift of life. This is why I give.


  1. Anonymous1:04 PM

    Thanks for spreading the word on blood and platelet donation.

  2. You're welcome! I tell everyone I can. The way I look at it, is that someday I may need to avail of blood in an emergency situation, and I hope there will be a donor available to supply me with the blood I will need.