Meet Khalil

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Ryan P.

Boca Raton, Florida

I started donating whole blood in 1998 (my senior year at Taravella High). My Father was a lifelong donor, and me and my 3 brothers would always fight for who got the blood donor shirts that my Dad would bring home. We were little, so we would wear them to bed as PJs. I wanted to be like my Dad, so as soon as I became old enough, I started donating whole blood. In 2005, I started donating platelets, and found out that my counts were so high, that I was like 3 people donating. I tried to be as consistent as possible over the years, but it’s never easy, especially when you are scared of needles.

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Earlier this month, I hit my 100th platelet donation. I try to get my friends and family (and even strangers) to donate, but very few people choose to. Most people are just scared of the needle experience. However, when I explain my routine, and what gets me able to sit with needles in my arms for 2 hours at a time, I think that I can/do help people join the fight and donate their health to those in need. Again, I am scared of needles. I hate the process. But before my blood donation, I look at 20+ pictures of sick children (which I keep on my phone) that are going through cancer, or burn victims, and how scared they must be when these little kids & babies see those needles. All my fears go away, and a switch goes off. And I want those needles in my arms immediately, so I can help those kids, and maybe take away some of their pain. If they have to go through the “needle experience” when they are sick and scared, and not feeling good, then how in the world can I (a healthy/happy guy) not do it to help them? Once you realize that and you look at the big picture, you will welcome the needle experience and get over your fears and donate. After my 100th platelet donation (and I don't know how many dozens of whole blood) I feel like I earned the right to share my story and most importantly, that people will listen. I think that I can share my story and routine, and it will help get more people to step up and join this important fight.

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