Gift of a lifetime

Mary Clare Bean, Opinion Editor

Image from Bing Images

Think of the best gift you have received, or a gift that you have given. It might have been an extravagant piece of jewelry, a phone, or a surprise trip to somewhere you love. All of these things are wonderful to any other person, but there are more than a handful of people sitting in the hospital waiting to receive their most needed gift: blood. One donation can help up to three people, people under all kinds of circumstances, surgery patients, accident victims, organ transplant recipients and burn patients; all people young and old. Cancer patients are the most common recipients of blood transfusions according to AARP. In most states, you can be as young as 17 to donate but you can also be 16 and donate with the help of a parental consent form. Age is not the only requirement there is to donate blood. You have to be a minimum of 110 pounds, you must be in good health and feeling well on the day of the donation and other requirements that only apply if you had a disease or blood transfusions. Donating blood is not always the most perfect process. There are possibilities that you might pass out, get light headed or maybe even throw up. I had an instance where I tried donating but I ended up passing out and the needle in my arm somehow got oxygen in the blood that ruined the chance of getting it sent to the hospital. Even after all of that I was fine after 10 minutes, a little discouraged by the fact that 30 people saw me pass out, but overall fine. Even if it is a harder process than we would like to admit, it is our human nature to help the people in most need. There is no better feeling than knowing you could have saved not just one person, but up to three people’s lives. The realization of knowing you made a difference is not even the beginning of the long list of great things that come from donating blood. There are pretty good odds that you will need to receive blood yourself at one point in your life. This makes it possible for you to imagine what those people are going through having to wait for someone to donate their blood to help them. This is no way to try and force you into donating blood; it is just to bring light on how you can continue to help other people’s lives in a matter of 30 minutes. In case anyone is still in the giving mood after Community Service Day, the annual Battle of 42nd blood drive is starting on December 6th at the Oakland Church of the Nazarene. This event promotes the donation of blood and it also provides a little competition to our friendly school just down the street.