Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Blood Bank

Today I hit a milestone. I donated blood on my way home from work and my total blood donated is now five gallons. That is a lot of blood. That is actually five gallons since I moved to the States so if you count the times I donated in Canada I've donated more than five gallons. I would have hit five gallons a long time ago except for the whole time I was traveling they wouldn't take my blood. If you've been to some high risk places like the Philippines, Thailand, China etc. they make you wait a year before they will take you blood. Since for nearly ten years I never made it a whole year before traveling back to some of those third world countries I went quite a while without donating.

They tell me I have special blood. I am O+ which is the most common blood but I am also CMV negative. I'm not exactly sure what CMV (Cytomegalovirus) is but it is an antibody that 85% of all Americans have and amazingly 1 in 8,000 babies born develop permanent disabilities from contracting it. Who would have thought? Normal people can accept blood that is CMV positive but if someone who has a weak immune system (like newborn babies) receive CMV positive blood they can get quite sick. My blood goes to babies. Cool eh?

I remember very clearly the very first time I ever donated blood. I was a freshman at BYU and walking down the hall I saw a blood donation set up. I figured I would help out and I've tried to do it every chance I get since then. Recently they opened a center near our home so I go pretty much every eight weeks now. Perhaps it won't take another thirty years for me to hit the ten gallon mark.

23% of the people who die (their heart stops) and then are resuscitated describe a near death experience where they were lucid and aware of their surroundings.


Justin, Kira and Evan said...

i wish i was better at donating blood. i have a SUPER rare blood type and they LOVE it when I am brave enough to donate.

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

I wish I wasn't so afraid of needles because this completely horrifies me. You are such an example! Maybe someday I will get better...

Lynn said...

THat is so cool Fred! Good for you!

Dean and I and Colby go often now too. But I don't think our blood is as special as yours. ; D