The generous act of blood donation can save more than one life. For Susan and her husband Bob Meehan, donating blood together actually helped shape the life they would spend together.
“The Red Cross helped me to 52 years of happily married life,” Susan admits. She and her husband met while working for the State Department and took advantage of a stipulation that provided four hours of leave when donating blood. For Susan, blood donation was an important practice in her family that was passed down from her father, a World War I veteran and regular blood donor, “I would have done it anyway because giving blood is a real tradition in my family,” she insists.
According to her it was debatable whether her future husband shared in her enthusiasm for blood donation, however, “(He) could see the advantages of having a fun date and to do good. Giving blood certainly gave us the opportunity to have a courtship.”
Blood Donation Woven into Courtship
While blood donation only takes about an hour, Susan and Bob were able to take full advantage of their leave time together.
“We’d go give blood in the afternoon and then go out to dinner and dancing – to say thank you for giving us the opportunity to have some fun, we continued to do it.”
They married after Bob returned from Vietnam and reached many milestones together while on their journey to donating 100 pints of blood each. They still hold the American Red Cross in high regard.
“If there’s anything we can do to increase blood donations we’re encouraging right and left. Giving blood is a way of saying to the world that we want everybody to have the best chance to lead a safe and healthy life and we’re happy to take part in the effort,” Susan assures. Together, they share two children and a granddaughter that’s heading to the third grade.
“I’m going to teach her to grow up and give blood when she gets old enough to do so,” Susan promises with a smile in her voice.
Create Memories and Traditions through Blood Donation
For many, blood donation milestones create lasting memories. Right now, the Red Cross is experiencing an emergency blood shortage.
Schedule your next blood donation today by using the Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or opening the Red Cross Blood skill on an Alexa-enabled device with a selection of prompts such as, “Alexa, open Red Cross Blood Skill” and ask, for example, “Alexa, find a blood drive.”
A blood donor card or driver’s license, or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.