Let’s Talk about Donating Blood

Do something good. I dare you. During this year’s Kindness Week – February 17 to 24 – I dared myself to take a risk and move out of my comfort zone in order to make a difference.

I want to be part of Kind, Caring Ottawa. As we all know, it’s easy to talk the talk. Walking the walk can be a little lot more challenging. My personal dare – Pam to self – was to give blood. It’s in us to give, right?

But for some inexplicable reason, the prospect has always made me queasy. Years ago, I made an appointment at a blood donor clinic, showed up with my arm out, all pumped to give and then… I started feeling dizzy. Eventually, the nurse patted me on the head and told me to go home.

This time, I was determined to follow through. Yesterday I made the call to Canadian Blood Services to set up an appointment. It just so happened there was a spot open at a mobile clinic right in my neighbourhood. I took the earliest time available so I wouldn’t have a chance to start making excuses or find something “urgent” I had to do instead.

Giving blood matters. Just one donation can save a life.  As www.blood.ca points out, every minute somebody in our country needs blood. Daily, here in Ottawa, blood and blood products are needed for medical treatments and surgeries. It’s comforting for all of us to know the blood supply is there waiting in case we need it.

It took just five minutes, the walk across the field to Walter Baker Centre. In no time, I was upstairs in the cafeteria. After a thorough screening and assessment process, I was good to go ahead with it. When I was getting settled in the chair, the nurse noticed my skin was clammy.  She asked if I was okay, if I was sure I wanted to go through with it. She also brought the friendly woman with the blond hair over to check me out – just in case. “You’re even paler than you were when you came in,” she commented. “I’ll be just fine,” I told her. “I want to give blood.”

And I did. We chatted and laughed and swapped stories, while blood passed through a tube. It was simple, over quickly. Already, I’ve made my next appointment to donate and I’ll keep giving blood – again and again.

You can reach Canadian Blood Services at 1 888 2 DONATE (I 888 236-6283).

My next dare-to-self is active volunteering. Join me, will you?

Are you a blood donor? A volunteer? Share your stories.

 Pam Dillon

  Reach me at Pam@coylepublishing.com.

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