Monday, 29 October 2012

My 30th donation

Today marked my 30th blood donation. Whoop-whoop! I've been due to go through for about two months but with that nasty cough-cold in September and non-stop action in October I'd put it off. With this one done and 52 days until I can do another, I'll manage to get the next one in around xmas and New Year when blood is much needed.

I started donating blood when I turned 16. SANBS used to come to our school every few months. I continued this all through university; donating was made especially easy when I was post-grad and based at Wits Medical School. I'd just trot along to the donor unit in the hospital. As a precious O Negative donor they'd call me to donate specifically for baby operations.

And then I started adventure racing. Regularly being in malaria areas took me out of donating for years and it was only in June 2008 that I decided to renew my regular donor status (you've got to donate at least three times a year to be considered a regular donor).

I've made my home at the friendly Bruma SANBS donor centre and over the past four years I've gotten to know the nurses there. As a loyal donor at this centre I got a lovely gift today - a SANBS picnic blanket. It goes beautifully with the SANBS coolerbag I got about two years ago.

I've written a bunch of posts on blood donation (just type 'blood' in the search box on your top right), including this one from June this year (blood-donor month).

As always, I urge you to become a regular donor. Once-off is a token thought and all of your blood components are not used until you've done three donations and they're all clear and safe. And then you need to keep your status by doing at least three donations a year. Don't wait until you receive life-saving blood to become a donor (it's a bit like getting home insurance after a break-in... kinda). Remember that if you're in an accident it could take 30-60 units of blood to save your life.

If you're nervous or hesitant about going, give me a shout and I'll come and hold your hand.