I don’t have a dramatic story about a loved one who was saved because of the generosity of blood donors. No one close to me has told a tale of why we all should do this one simple thing (though I believe that, if you can, you should). So why do I do it?
I started back in college. A friend of mine, Christine, came down with hepatitis. When she was out of quarantine, she said the thing she regretted most of all is that she wouldn’t be able to give blood again. I don’t even know if that’s true any longer, but at the time (the early 1970s) it was a consequence of the particular form of hepatitis she had.
At the time, I’d never given blood. I knew people, including athletes with state championships, who had fainted from the procedure, and I was terrified. But there in Christine’s hospital room I took a breath, looked her in the eye, and said, “Christine, I will donate for you.”
The next time there was a blood drive at college, I gathered up my friends and my courage and we went. And you know what? I have never had even the slightest reaction, not once in all the years since. It’s easy for me to keep my promise, and I do. These days, though, it’s about more to me than my college friend. Whenever someone asks me why I donate regularly, I say that why would I not? For me it’s easy. I think of all the ways we can do good in the world, and this is one that I can sustain as long as my health holds out.
Christine and I have lost touch with each other, but I still think of her every eight weeks when I donate: Christine, this is for you. The truth is, though, it’s for everyone who is in a place where they rely on the anonymous help of strangers. In this way, I can be one of those strangers.
Why would I not?
In response to the WordPress Photo Challenge: One Love