In August 2015, my good friend Kate gave birth to a son, named Oliver. Oliver was a micropreemie, born more than three months early and weighing under two pounds at birth. In the picture above it’s easy to believe that he was the smallest human I’ve seen. His whole body was a breath wide and he needed many things to survive and grow.
Today, Oliver is a larger-than-life, albeit regular-sized 8-yr old boy with red hair, freckles, and a comical smile. He loves the Lord of the Rings read nightly by his dad. Oliver is on the swim team. He likes frogs, baseball, and even his big sister. When I saw my young friend this summer on a trip to Houston he was reciting poetry and eating marshmallows. He is a perfectly healthy child.
Oliver’s survival beyond birth profoundly impacted my worldview. It seemed a medical wonder made possible by sheer will and an army of doctors, nurses and support systems, including critical blood and platelet donations. We all rushed to donate the moment Oliver was born. My blood is pretty average but my spouse’s blood has one of those special qualities that premature newborns like Oliver need to survive and to make themselves whole. I donate blood because I know that a pint saved Oliver’s life many times over those first weeks and my blood will save someone else’s life.
Even in a world of riches, we can’t buy blood. We can give it and hope that if we’re ever in need, others have done the giving. This winter I ask you to thoughtfully consider the medical needs of your loved ones, communities, and the nation, and make a pledge to donate blood between December 1, 2023 and February 1, 2024.
The Denbury Give A Drop: Winter 2023 Blood Drive is the place where you can make that pledge, then donate when and where it’s most convenient for you. Share with your family and friends using #dropbydrop2023. Ask them to pledge and donate as well. All are welcome!
With gratitude and hope for your continued good health this winter,