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I started donating platelets kind of by accident. I found a donation center near my home and made an appointment not realizing that I was donating platelets. When I started donating I didn’t know anything about platelets. So, the second time I went to donate I asked some more questions and found out that platelets only have a five day shelf-life! Platelets, or thrombocytes, are small, colorless cell fragments in our blood that form clots and stop or prevent bleeding. Platelets are made in our bone marrow, the sponge-like tissue inside our bones. Bone marrow contains stem cells that develop into red blood cells, white blood cells, and platelets. One donation can yield up to 3 units of platelets and maybe a unit of plasma (they take this from me during every other donation if I haven’t donated whole blood in between).

I’m asking friends and family to consider taking time to donate blood or platelets between now and January 31, 2022. Blood products are always in short supply, especially with the short shelf-life of platelets.

I consider my platelet donation time to be my unplugged time since I am a two-arm donor. That means I have a needle in each arm – one drawing and one returning so I lay “still” and watch TV for the duration of my visit. It’s quiet time to think about the family and friends who have need blood or blood products and how someone was able to help them out by donating.

This year, I’m hoping to encourage 50 people to go donate. I’m calling it #CandlesforCookies2021 and I hope you’ll consider donating. If you have any questions about the process, let me know. Otherwise, Happy Holidays! Enjoy the time with your family/friends and know that you could be donating a product to help someone else leave the hospital to be home with their family.

What your donors are up to...

Take a photo of yourself donating blood and share it! Just use #CookiesforCandles2021

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