There’s a national critical blood shortage! Most clinics in the South only have 1-2 days worth of blood in the banks. The Red Cross is experiencing the worst blood shortage in over a decade.
For my birthday this year, I am hoping to have a group of people donate blood and help stock the shelves! I know that many people are afraid to donate blood, or otherwise have never done it before. My Uncle, Tim McGinley, inspired me to be more intentional with blood donations after watching his regular and consistent donations. I hope that this drive can help show you how easy it is, and inspire you to donate blood regularly and give the gift of life! For my 27th birthday, I am hoping to have 27 people donate in some way, either in blood, funds, or study participation (see below!) If this is successful, I would love to make this a more regular thing (you can donate up to six times a year!! That’s six LIVES A YEAR!!)
In the past week, someone in my family needed a blood transfusion. Throughout my life, people within my #cancersurvivor community have needed blood after heavy treatments. With your simple donation, you can save one or more lives with your blood, platelets, and plasma!
People in Nashville can donate on the same day during my birthday weekend (February 6th) and perhaps get a wholesome refueling/rehydrating meal together afterwords! Those in other cities can participate and we can hang out on zoom (or not at all!)
I understand that many people are unable to donate a variety of reasons, and I encourage you to donate funds, share the campaign, or participate in (or share!) the following study.
If you wish to donate funds, you can donate here: https://www.redcross.org/donate/donation.html/
I recognize the homophobic, biphobic, and sometimes transphobic policies that exclude men who have sex with men is a terrible and draconian barrier to donating blood, especially in a time of a national blood crisis. If you live in LA, the Bay Area, Memphis, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Atlanta, Orlando, Miami, or DC, you may consider participating in a study being run by the Red Cross, along with One Blood, Vitalant and partner LGBTQ+ community health centers, funded by the FDA in select cities that could potentially lead to changes for blood donor eligibility criteria for gay and bisexual men. The study is focused on evaluating alternatives to determining donor eligibility, and it could lead to further efforts to change the MSM eligibility criteria. More information and to sign up here: https://advancestudy.org/
If you donate and post on instagram or twitter, and use the hashtag #ShawnsBirthdayBloodDrive, it will be shared here!
Thank you all so much and I can’t wait to see how many folks we are able to encourage to give the gift of life.