Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Life's Blood

I just got back from a trip to the main branch of the Providence Post Office, the first automated post office in the world. I wasn't there to mail a letter, however. I was there to listen to a speaker from the Rhode Island Blood Center encourage post office employees to donate blood. Several months ago, I volunteered to speak on behalf of the RIBC, and today I had a chance to observe a woman tell her story about why blood donors are heroes.

Nine years ago, the speaker's daughter was diagnosed with Aplastic Anemia , a rare blood disorder. This 15-year old girl received hundreds of units of red blood cells and platelets during her treatment. She subsequentally underwent a bone marrow transplant, with her 4-year old brother as her donor. One reason this young lady is alive today is that ordinary Rhode Islanders took the time to give blood at work, at school, in their communities, and at the RIBC itself. My husband is a long-time donor. He started giving blood at the RIBC (Warwick branch) years before I was diagnosed with leukemia. Blood drives are sponsored by the West Warwick Public Library at least three times a year. I mention this because I'm a proud employee of the institution.

I'm ready to tell my personal story, the one in which everyday heroes donated their blood so it was on hand when mine was failing me. If my tale can inspire people to donate a small bag of life-saving fluid, I'll feel really really good.

Imagine how the people who get those bags will feel.

1 comment:

Ronni Gordon said...

I am always amazed by, and grateful for, the people who take the time to donate platelets. (Not that I'm not grateful for the people who donate blood!) Many of us have had the experience of not getting a bump from platelets, and then being "saved" by a donor who does give us a bump, and who then returns to donate more when asked specifically.