Thursday 13 September 2018

50th blood donation milestone

On Tuesday evening, I reached my 50th blood donation milestone.

I started donating blood at 16, the age at which people are permittes to donate blood. We had a mobile clinic that came to our school a few times a year.

At university, I initially went to the permanent clinic at Eastgate and then later, for my postgrad year at medical school campus, I would donate at the hospital clinic. 

Once I started adventure racing, I was often in malaria areas, which is an exclusion, and so I got out of donating for the better part of a decade plus.

It was only when I organised a blood donation drive at a company where I was working in mid-2008, that I regained my regular donor status by donating at least three times a year for the last 10 years.
I left the company shortly after our successful donor day and settled in at the Bruma donor clinic. For three years, I have been a regular at our Parys mobile clinic. They come to town on the second Tuesday of every month. 

As I have done four donations already this year, I recieved a lovely picnic backpack from SANBS. Their gifts are definitely a lot more frequent - probably to encourage donors. I have used many of the thoughtful gifts over the years (the first coolerbag was a winner and I'm currently enjoying the second edition) and I have given away others - like the cosy scarf and beanie that I received this winter; it went to our gardener.

If you can donate blood, do it. If you are excluded for some reason, it is not because they don't want your blood. It is because donating poses a health risk to you or the recipient.

Also add to your list to register as an organ donor. When you die, you won't be needing those organs and they'll change the life of someone who needs an organ. While you're at it, sign up for the bone marrow registry too. Even if you feel squeamish, just do it. You may be on the receiving side sometime and what a bugger it would be if you had a match out there who could save your life but they didn't register because they 'don't like needles'. Really? 

Blood donation is easy and doesn't take much time. Stock levels are always low. 

If there is anything that I have taught you from my posts over the years about blood donation it is to become a regular donor - safe for you and the recipient of your blood . 

They don't use your blood if you make a once-off donation. You MUST donate at least 3 times a year (max is 6).

What are you waiting for?