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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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June 26, 2008

Saving lives

It was only my second time doing it, but it felt good to give blood yesterday. I know there are plenty of people who can’t donate (my friend Jon and my colleague Amber are dizzy just reading this) but that just means it’s even more important for those of us who can to do so.

According to the American Red Cross :
* Blood treats cancer patients, people with blood disorders, premature babies, transplant recipients and more.
*Nearly every 2 seconds someone in America needs blood.
*Only 5 percent of the eligible population actually donates blood.
*Each blood donation can help save up to three lives.

Thirty-nine donors came to give blood at The Lutheran Center yesterday, together supplying 93 to 124 patients with blood.

I spent years avoiding blood drives, but have discovered offering this free gift is easier and less painful than I ever imagined. Apparently, plenty of young people know this—there were young adults on all sides of me giving blood yesterday. And on my way to donate, I remembered quite out of the blue that I’d occasionally see a band-aid on my mom or dad’s arm, and that they’d explain to me they’d just given blood. It was just the nudge I needed to quell any anxiety... Funny how years after they’re gone, they’re still influencing me.

So in our home where band-aids are a very big deal this summer (read: skinned knees and elbows), I showed off my own band-aid with pride last night. When my kids are adults, I hope it’s just the nudge they need to go and save three lives!

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