According to the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is ‘What are you doing for others?’” While many think of the MLK holiday as a day off, I encourage you to make it a “day on” by donating blood for patients in local hospitals. Just one blood donation can save up to three lives.
When I first set out to do this blood drive, I was thinking about NICU babies, like Christopher who was born at 2lbs, 8.2.oz. and spent two months in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) receiving blood as a part of treatment. Premature babies often do not have enough red blood cells because they can’t make their own at birth. The blood for the transfusion comes from a donor blood bank, just like the blood given to adults. I also thought about sickle cell patients like Bryant, Jr. who battled sickle cell all of his life. Blood transfusions are often used for sickle cell patients for the prevention of complications associated with sickle cell disease by decreasing the concentration of sickle hemoglobin in the blood. Several months into planning, my uncle Lorenzo fell ill with an unexplained illness that required him to immediately have two blood transfusions in the ER in order to save his life. It hit home just how important it is to have a good supply of blood on hand to help any patient in need…it just may save their life!
Join me in either signing up for my local blood drive by registering at http://bit.ly/3GeireC or by committing here to giving blood in your area sometime between MLK Day (January 16, 2023, and the end of black history month, February 28, 2023. I am especially encouraging black donors to participate. Blood donors who are Black play a critical role in helping people with sickle cell disease, the most common genetic blood disease in the U.S. Patients with the disease may rely on regular blood transfusions throughout their lives. It is essential that the blood they receive be the most compatible match possible, from someone of the same race or similar ethnicity. Today, there aren’t enough blood donors to meet this urgent need. By donating blood, you can make a difference in the life of a patient with sickle cell disease as well as moms with complicated childbirths, people fighting cancer, accident or trauma victims being raced to emergency rooms, and many more. Please note that our area has a critical need for O- and A+ blood!
Those who join me at my in-person event and who are first or second-time donors to ImpactLife (one of our local blood banks) will receive a $25.00 gift card!