I have encouraged people to give blood for years, but recently I donated for the first time myself. I was walking into the Nashville American Red Cross blood donation center with a personal reason for donation, yet no one there knew my “why.”
As I was checking in, I told the registration volunteer that this was my first time donating, and although I have had many reasons to give in the past, I did not feel ready until now. They expressed their gratitude, still not knowing the profound impact other blood donors have had in my life.
My husband Lucas passed away on Nov. 11, 2021. In June 2020, he was diagnosed with leukemia, and during his treatment, he received more than 100 bags of blood and platelets - sometimes more than one bag at a time.
There are people like Lucas who need blood every single day to live. So, when the Red Cross staff member who took care of me remarked that I had a “little vein that could,” I smiled. Even that comment meant a lot to me, knowing that my vein could help others. I told this same man that giving blood was important for me and asked him to take a photo. There are people like Lucas who are in hospitals that my blood will help… they need it to live.
Once my blood bag was full, the friendly staff member removed the needle and then wrapped a bandage around my arm. Once my donation process was complete, I headed to the canteen area to grab an orange juice and snack. Then I quickly made my way out of the building into the parking lot. Even though I was emotionally ready to donate, when I returned to my car, the tears flowed.
I donated for Lucas, for people like Lucas who desperately need blood transfusions to live, for those who cannot donate themselves, and for myself. I kindly ask that you consider doing the same.
Special thanks to Ryan Meyer, American Red Cross volunteer