I probably have donated approximately 10 times in my life so far.
I got the idea of donating when I saw my auntie going to donate blood. I was in my early 20s. She said she needed to stay healthy in order to donate blood. This planted a seed in my brain from then on. I never had anybody in my life I knew that donated blood.
Probably years later, I came across a mall with Canadian blood services in it. I decided to take the plunge. It was more difficult to donate than I thought as there were lots of questions, such as traveling outside the country, etc. Attempts were made ( rejection due to low iron) and the forms were signed, I went into talk to the nurse and was approved.
After all the hoops and whistles, I finally was able to sit in the "chair". I recall the needle being "thick" and I was mortified. The nurse said to me, if it was like a sewing needle, you'll be here forever.
The best thing that kept me going back was a super enthusiastic and talkative volunteer by the juice and cookies table. This senior proudly shared his donation stories. He said back in the war days, people donated from their body straight to another person's body!
Over the years, I have donated only infrequently because I have been rejected due to low iron, different travel destinations and just being weak after donating.
Each time I have gone in, I learned more about treating my body well and keeping my body strong. The stronger I get, the more frequently I can donate.
The best is when I invite friends to go with me. I feel like many times people do not know when or how to start. Having a friend that knows the process helps with the initial visit. Not only that, I share with friends that I donate so I can plant a seed within their brain that they can do it once in their life. My goal is just to get one friend to go once a year.
On a more private note, there are days when the world gets so strange, bizarre and sad. Images of violence, wars and natural disasters are days that I just drive myself directly to the clinic to just do something good for the world. The little pain for 10 minutes is nothing compared to what others are experiencing. I can do something, I can make a difference, I am a normal person that can help....