Want to Make a Difference, Give Blood

You, too, can be a Lifesaver

donate blood

Rarely ever do I advocate for things I don’t personally do or for actions that I don’t take. Okay, so I encourage folks to eat beets even though I don’t because they taste like dirt smells. And, though I was ticketed once by the Kentucky State Police for speeding, it was the blonde in the BMW who started it! That one time was plenty to slow me and my Mustang down, nevertheless, when Friday, June 14, World Blood Donor Day (WBDD) rolls around, I will enthusiastically pat the backs of those folks who give blood so others may live.

Never heard of World Blood Donor Day? Nor had I, yet when it showed up on my list of important things to do this month, I quickly signed on to do my part—I’ll have to keep my li’l troubled blood to myself but I will encourage donations and applaud donors.

According to the WBDD website, this annual celebration was begun by the World Health Organization and countries around the world celebrate to raise awareness of the need for safe blood and blood products, and to thank blood donors for their voluntary, life-saving gifts of blood. June 14 was chosen because it is the birthday of blood research pioneer and Nobel scientist Karl Landsteiner (1868-1943) who is responsible for the A-B-O blood grouping discovery.

In every community I’ve lived in there were neighbors and friends who joyfully, religiously, generously and voluntarily gave blood as a natural outgrowth of living in community with their loved ones and friends. What a precious gift!

Researchers say safe, clean blood supplies are critical for transfusions, pregnant women pre and post-delivery, as well as for treatment of leukemia, anemia, hemophilia, other blood diseases, and life-threatening conditions during medical and surgical procedures.

The website goes on to say that this day is also celebrated to reduce death rates because of insufficient blood supply. Approximately 800 women are dying annually due to childbirth-related complications, or severe bleeding during or after delivery.

The demand for safe blood transfusions is increasing day by day in spite of the blood donation by almost 92 million people every year worldwide. “Adequate supply of blood and its products can only be fulfilled by the regular and safe donations by the self-motivated, voluntary and unpaid blood donors,” the site said.

Friday is the day of celebration but every day there’s a need for self-motivated, voluntary, and unpaid donors to offer themselves. Only you can decide what role you can and will play—donor, cheerleader, or prayer partner for a recipient, or supporting someone else whose health is failing. Here’s what I know:

Not everyone who wants to give blood will be able. When/if you can, please do, so there’ll be adequate supplies when the need arises. Encourage and cheer those who make this sacrifice joyfully and often.

Take care of your own health. You are absolutely what you eat (and drink) so don’t even think of having that fourth donut, that second ice cream sandwich (ok, this one is to Cynthia Ann, the speeder who believes ice cream sandwiches are best when eaten in pairs), and leave that bag of Archway iced oatmeal cookies down there on the  shelf no matter how loudly they call your name. Your health is a special treasure and it is much easier to keep good health than it is to try and regain it.

As we age, choose to live triumphantly — the life you save just may be your own.

Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.

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