One of my biggest heroes is my mom. From a young age, she demonstrated an ethic of care for people and the environment. I recently learned she has donated blood around 100 times. Growing up with her example of courage and bravery has shaped me into who I am today.
One blood donation can help save up to three lives. It’s hard to understand how valuable that is to a patient in need. For me, it took on a new meaning recently.
When my mom was 12 years old, her mom (my grandma) was very pregnant with my aunt. One day, my grandma was sitting in a chair, and the chair broke under her. As she fell to the ground, the impact likely dislodged the placenta. A day or two after the fall, my grandma developed severe hemorrhaging in the middle of the night. My grandfather (who was a doctor) quickly realized the severity of the situation and called an ambulance to take her to the hospital.
As they delivered the baby, they pumped blood into my grandma. She received six units of blood (which is almost a total body exchange). Without it, she would have died.
My mom happened to be awake while all of this was going on, and stayed up through the night cleaning up the bathroom, which she said was covered in blood. My grandmother truly appreciated that, and thanked my mom many times throughout her life.
This story is a big reason why my mom became a regular blood donor. At an impressionable age, she learned the importance of giving blood to help save people’s lives. Without volunteer blood donors, our family story might have had a different ending. Without blood donors, I might not have met my grandma. You never realize the importance of blood donation until you or someone you know needs it.
Help me reach my goal and ensure that other patients have the same outcome. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. But for the past four years, new Red Cross blood donors have declined by about 80,000 each year. I’m sharing this story with all of you to ensure patients receive life saving blood.
Make (and keep) an appointment to give blood to the American Red Cross.
Become a blood donor and support the cause of blood donation. The impact we can make together is the best gift I can imagine.