Posted by: Lisa | February 8, 2011

Save a Life. Donate.

Some things money can’t buy…and those things include blood, platelets, organs, & bone marrow.

I have always been an advocate for organ donation. At 16, I was almost as excited about signing the little heart symbol on my driver’s license than I was about the actual ability to finally drive.  I read a story once where someone’s parents trumped his wishes on his driver’s license, so to be on the safe side I filled out, printed off, & laminated an extra donor card that I keep in my wallet.  I have probably told Jon a thousand times how he can mourn for me later, but eyeballs can only be transplanted within a very short window of time, so he better get me to a hospital pronto if I die suddenly.  He rolls his eyes each time, but I’ll be looking down on him (pun intended) from Heaven & he better do as I’ve demanded!

I’ve donated blood a few times.  I wish it were more, but like a lot of people, I have a litany of excuses.  Once, I got turned away for low iron.  Sometimes I just don’t have time.  Now I actually don’t weigh enough.  Most of the time, though, I just got incredibly dizzy, sweaty, & light-headed.  Once I passed out on the bathroom floor after I got home.  I always ate lots of sugar before & during the procedure, but once my blood sugar level dropped I couldn’t handle it.  I ended up talking myself out of donating again.  But then I think about how I got dizzy for a few hours…and other people are DYING without my blood.  One pint of donated blood can save three lives.  Three!  That’s amazing.  Brusters ice cream sometimes does blood drives for the American Red Cross, and they give away a pint (of ice cream) in exchange for a pint (of blood).  Now c’mon, who doesn’t love ice cream?  All it takes is 15 minutes & a teeny tiny prick that barely hurts.  If you’ve had a baby, you can definitely handle it.  And if you haven’t had a baby, than surely  the least you can do is endure a tiny needle prick, right?

A friend of mine has gotten me curious about platelet donation.  It’s a similar process but is supposed to leave you feeling better afterward because they put most of your blood back in your body (not as icky as it sounds).  But most recently I’ve been researching & thinking about signing up for the bone marrow registry.  I read about a little 6-year-old girl in Charlotte who is going to die without a bone marrow transplant.  They’re holding a donor drive for her, and I’ve decided that I’m going to go.  All it takes is a cheek swab to get on the registry.  If you get matched with someone & agree to donate, there are now two ways to do it – the old way where you go through minor outpatient surgery & suffer minor, temporary aches similar to growing pains, or the new way, which is just like donating blood except it takes about 3 hours.  That’s 3 hours a patient would leukemia would probably love to have, huh?

The idea of getting matched with someone & going through the donation process is a bit scary…but I’m quite positive the warm fuzzies you get after you save someone’s life probably trump the nervous feeling beforehand!!  I guess my final decision was made when I considered that it could be MY child going through what this little local girl is undergoing.  It could be ME sitting beside my child in a hospital room, wondering if he’ll even live to see his next birthday.  I mean, how can I be so selfish as to sit in my little bubble with my healthy child when other moms are enduring THAT?  So now I’m not just reluctantly signing up.  I’m actually hoping that I am a match for someone.  What an awesome way to really make a difference, honor both the healthy kids & the sick ones, & set a beautiful example of a life of giving for my son.

So…anyone willing to join me???  I’d love to have company on March 5th!

Here’s the link about the Charlotte girl:
http://www.dkmsamericas.org/drives/help-save-jordan-and-others

and a super cute video about donating bone marrow:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXSrpXFa5Jc


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Responses

  1. I have been on the donor list for 2 years now. I am a huge advocate. Such an easy thing to do to save lives!!!

  2. Definite get on the marrow registry list. I’ve been on the list for over 10 years and my father has actually donated bone marrow for a young man in Europe. Dad spent a few hours at the hospital in Washington, D.C. and then had to spend the night at a hotel there. He went home the next day with a few little aches but that’s nothing compared to the pain and sickness those affected with leukemia have to endure every day.

  3. Just now catching up on your blog! Yippee! So glad I could get you interested! It’s absolutely a karma thing for me. If I donate now, then one day, if my child needs it, it’ll be available b/c someone else donated. Murphy’s Law, in my life, I’d never be a good match for my kid. And for me, platelets are preferred by the Red Cross. My count is so high, and I’m CBJ (or whatever it is) negative, so mine can go to babies. Never really thought about the impact until I started donating at St. Jude when I lived in Memphis. They have to buy platelets at $750 each unless someone comes in and donates them directly. They do so much to help kids. How could I not give what I can easily replenish? That’s how I got hooked. And now I’m signed up for the bone marrow registry, too. I did mine through the mail. How hard is that? So many people get so squimish, but when you put it all in perspective, it’s not so bad. I’d hope someone would do it for me. So, while I can, I’ll do it for a stranger.


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