Giving Blood for Emily

Thursday, January 8, 2015

[image source: The Baltimore Sun]

Yesterday was a pretty big day for me. I was really nervous about donating blood for the first time but I'm happy to report that all went well! I am not a fan of needles to begin with and I've heard stories of people passing out or feeling crappy for days afterward, so I had no idea what I was in for.

I hadn't actually planned on donating blood at all until I came across an article online about a little girl named Emily. Emily goes to the same school that I attended kindergarten through 8th grade. She is battling a rare brain disorder that frequently keeps her out of school. The disorder is called acute disseminated encephalomyelitis (ADEM) and it's an autoimmune disorder that damages her brain tissue causing symptoms like vision loss, extreme weakness to the point of paralysis, and loss of voluntary muscle function. She undergoes regular blood transfusions and chemotherapy treatments to help with symptoms and suppress her immune system so that her body won't attack itself.

In honor of Emily, one of the local police departments hosted a Red Cross blood drive this past week and since I've been to other events to raise money for her and her family, I thought I should attend this one, too. Not only is it for a great cause, but I got to check it off my 101 list!


January is also National Volunteer Blood Donor Month and ironically, it happens to be the month where blood donations are the most scarce. People are busy with holiday schedules or often fighting sickness, and the nasty weather can present its own set of problems for people trying to keep donation appointments.

So if you have time this month, schedule an appointment to donate blood with the Red Cross! There are so many people out there who need it, just like Emily!

4 comments:

  1. I was so upset I couldn't donate to the Red Cross during the Army/Navy challenge at work because of my tattoo. Would had been my first donation. I will though once I'm eligible!!

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    1. Aw what a bummer! Make sure next time you go that you eat some red meat or something too because my iron levels were almost too low to donate. I just barely made it though!

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  2. i was once not eligible to donate blood to my uncle who was also under chemotherapy, it just broke my heart. i'm so glad you had the chance to do it for her & for raising awareness of the issue through this post!

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    1. Oh my, I'm sorry to hear that. It can be really tricky to donate sometimes (especially for females I hear) for so many reasons. I'm just glad they didn't turn me down. Thanks for reading! :)

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