I donated blood today at the Nebraska Community Blood Bank here in Lincoln. Nothing unusual about that, since I donate every 8 weeks. But today was my 18 gallon day!
Yup, I've donated 18 gallons - 144 pints - of blood altogether. Wow, that means I must have eaten nearly 300 cookies over the years. That explains a few things...
And actually, I was deferred for three years. I took an anti-malarial drug before I went to Guatemala some years ago, and I couldn't give blood for three years after that. Otherwise, I'd probably be at 20 gallons by now.
Anyway, I don't miss it, since I make new blood all the time. And it feels good to help out like this. I highly recommend it.
Here in Lincoln, they had a huge influx of new donors after 9/11. But apparently, most of those people never bothered to come back again. Hey, they need blood all the time. Make the effort, please!
And it's not the rare blood that's especially needed. That seems to be a common misconception, but it's the common blood which is most in demand, because more accident victims and surgery patients have common blood types (pretty much by definition).
I'm no blue-blood. My blood type is O+, the most common of all, and it's always needed. Give your local blood bank a call. Many companies give employees time off to donate blood. If not, there are other options. Just ask your local blood bank.
On July 1st, I'll start working on my 19th gallon. Hey, that will be my fourth time donating this year, so I'll get a free t-shirt, too. It just doesn't get any better than that. :)
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