As we wind down 2012 and begin to think about our New Years Resolutions for the upcoming year I hope that saving lives is top on your list.
A single blood donation can save up to 3 lives in our community. A single blood donor can donate up to 6 pints of blood per year (or every 56 days). In 2013 YOU can save up to 18 lives by resolving to donate blood as often as possible.
Blood donation typically takes one hour each time you give. As you resolve to make the world a better place this New Years Eve think about saving lives by giving the one gift that cannot be substituted for any other product. Human blood can only be replaced with human blood. Most people eligible to give blood don't donate regularly.
If you've never donated before - resolve to donate just once in 2013. Then keep donating because you realize how easy it really is. If you've tried donating and have been deferred - try again at least once this year. If you cannot donate at all - host a blood drive or volunteer to help at a blood drive and give of your time. If you are a regular donor - resolve to encourage more friends and family to donate with you.
And, if you're a blood recipient - resolve to share your story of survival and give thanks to those who have donated blood.
At a recent blood drive at St.Pphilip's Episcopal Church, in downtown Rochester, a young man walked up to me and asked me a question. He stated that he had Lymphoma as a child and was saved through the generous donations of blood by strangers. When he was in high school he had tried to repay that gift and was told he could not donate blood because 8 years ago the technology did not exist to determine if his blood is now safe and cancer free for donation purposes. Here he stood 8 years later - after seeing the signs to walk in and donate. He wanted to know if the technology existed yet? Sadly, I informed him it still did not exist. He sighed and stated "I just want to give back - because if donors had not been there for me I would not be here today."
Donating blood or working at a blood drive gives hope to those patients and families who need life saving blood AND it feels good knowing you are doing something that directly benefits your community.
Give something that means something.