Why I Give Blood (And Why You Should Too)

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When I studied at Emory, I had the privilege of volunteering with a woman who was easily one of the nicest, most genuine people I've ever come across. We volunteered together to teach science to a public school in an under-privileged neighborhood in Atlanta. While I was debating pledging a sorority, she told me that she had pledged, and initiated, but after studying abroad in India, and seeing the poverty that existed there, she had deactivated. Instead, she donated what would have been her sorority dues to orphanages in the country.

That's the kind of person she is.

In December of 2010, while 8 months pregnant with what would have been her first child, she was taking a walk when she was hit by an SUV. The driver didn't stop, and to my knowledge, has not been caught. Despite attempts to perform an early c-section, her child did not survive the impact. After weeks in the hospital, Laurie was finally released, and now, is doing well. At least physically.

Laurie is alive because of donated blood and platelets. If not for the thousands of strangers who took time out of their day to give a single pint of blood, she would have died with her child.

bags of blood

I gave blood for the first time before I even knew her, and after almost passing out, I never thought I'd do it again. Now that I know someone, someone who should never have been in that position to begin with, someone who is alive right now because people gave a few minutes, and 1 dispensable pint of blood, I understand the significance of such a donation. I won't call it a sacrifice. I never sacrificed anything to donate blood. It didn't cost me a thing. But the lack thereof, could cost people everything.

Giving blood seems like such an inconsequential action, that so many people overlook it. But its impact is profound. Everyone is aware of its necessity, but until someone we know is in need of it, it's difficult to understand the importance of donating blood.

Donate blood. It may be easier to donate money, but with blood, you know exactly where it's going. Save a Life. Give a Pint.

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