While it is absolutely true that patients and their families are given second chances by the priceless gifts of volunteer blood donors, it is also true that the blood donors themselves enjoy many health benefits.
Every time a donor offers to share their ‘Gift of Life’ they receive a wellness check-up of blood pressure, pulse, temperature, iron count and, after donation, a cholesterol screening.
Many prospective donors discovered for the first time they had high blood pressure, low iron or heart arrhythmia during this health screening and then sought medical care. Some of those who went on to donate found they had cholesterol levels exceeding a combined HDL/LDL of 400.
They donated blood to help others and as a result, actually helped themselves.
Since these biometric measures can change during our lifetime, volunteering to donate blood regularly is a no-cost way to monitor your health.
When you donate blood you also receive peace of mind knowing that because you cared, blood will be on the shelf when you or someone you love needs it most.
Donated blood goes through extensive processing and a battery of 15 tests to assure blood safety, before being sent to hospitals. Since the turnaround time is about 24 hours, you cannot wait until someone needs blood to give it.
None of us plan on having to receive transfusions, but the reality is 1 in 3 of us will in our lifetime.
When you donate, you are paying it forward for yourself, your family and your neighbors in need. One of the greatest benefits of being a blood donor is the knowledge that you are making a vital difference in the lives of others when you share your good health.
There are no substitutes for blood. It can’t be manufactured or produced in a laboratory. It has to be given by a person as an act of profound kindness, thus lifting their own spirit.
It is one of life’s greatest paradoxes that ‘in giving, we receive. As Winston Churchill said, “You make a living by what you get, but a life by what you give.”
Please make blood donation part of your healthy lifestyle, part of the difference you can make in the world, because giving blood changes lives, starting with your own!