My (First) Blood Donation Experience

One of the things I liked most about my husband when we were still in college (aside from the fact that he looked really cute in swim trunks back then) was that he was a regular blood donor and an active member of the Red Cross. I always felt that as a healthy human being, it was an honor and responsibility to share blood. Donating blood is the closest experience you can get to saving another person’s life without risking your own.

Donating blood was something I always wanted to do but was always afraid of doing. I’m scared of needles, and the needles they use for blood donation are BIG.

I know, the needles they use for anesthetics in surgery are bigger. But I didn’t see those needles as I was about to go under the knife a few years back. If I saw them before I had surgery I probably would have fainted.

And for some reason, every time I finally decide to donate blood something happens that prevents me from donating (I get my period, I get sick, I got pregnant).

But this time, I was finally determined to donate blood. There’s really no point in letting my fear overcome all the good donating blood can do. Not only does it save other people’s lives. It’s also been proven in reduce the risk of heart disease by reducing overall iron levels in the blood and encouraging your body to produce fresh, new blood cells. And since you get a quick check up every time you donate blood,  it helps you stay on top on your help. And here in the Philippines, regular blood donors are usually given priority or discounts in the event we need blood for ourselves or for our family and friends.

Yes, I finally did it! And that’s my sister to my left, the one wearing a black t-shirt.

I was nervous the entire time. The good thing about it was I had my sister and friends there to support me. The Red Cross volunteers were also very nice and patient with me. Donating blood does hurt a bit; the medical technicians had a hard time finding my blood vessels which was probably the reason why the process hurt a bit more than it should. But not so much that it would prevent me from giving blood again.

I hope to donate blood again in 3 months and to keep donating for as long as I’m able. And once my daughter is old enough, I would encourage her to do so. I’d like to think that every time we give something, one of the people who receives that gift would pay it forward. And eventually, we’re making the world a better place one small deed at a time.

My Yellow Badge of Courage =)

Little things like donating blood, money, time, services, or goods to your local charity don’t really cost much. It doesn’t have to interfere with your life and it doesn’t have to be a big sacrifice if you don’t want it to be. But if we all did these small acts of kindness, small sacrifices that don’t really hurt , imagine how much better our world would be.

If you’d like to learn more about how to donate blood, just visit your local Red Cross chapter for information.

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