I like to donate blood. My body makes it, screenings accept it, and I can give again and again. I'm entrusted with a God given renewable resource. My type O negative blood is the universal blood. Everyone’s body accepts O negative blood. If needed, it's given to newborn infants and people in ER situations before their blood type is known. I give at MEDIC Regional Blood Center.
My brother Tom and I were visiting, and I'd said I'd donated.
“Really? Gee, Bill.”
Some months before he'd told me he had leukemia.
“Yeh, I've been donating for years,” I said.
“I didn't know that. It's really nice of you.”
His cancer, chronic myelomonocytic leukemia, gave him way too many white cells. He must've known about red cells by then.
“Yeh, it's O-neg; I've got plenty. I can give, no problem.”
Tom had made the connection, red cells, white cells, leukemia, needing blood, and giving blood. Tom and I lived apart. Donating blood was just one many things he did not know about me. He died 5 months later.
I’ve given seven gallons, or 56 pints, since I began donating in 1983. One pint of O-neg blood, according to the American Red Cross, can save the lives of up to three people. Donating blood extends lives, donating blood saves lives. Your blood can save lives but only if you donate. Please renew and recycle blood; donate your blood and you give life.