I became a blood donor in my last year of high-school. My blood-type is O-positive so I’m a universal donor which means I’m in demand, well, my blood is anyway.
Luckily I don’t have a problem with big, long needles being stuck into my veins or blood pouring out of thin little tubes into an anti-coagulant laced blood-bag.
If they’d allow me I’d donate every month as I think my body generates way more than I actually need but alas they say at least 57 days between donations. Okay, I can wait. I donated as regularly as I could before I moved to the UK. When we returned in 2002 I donated once or twice but everywhere I found to donate had irregular times they were there and when I arrived at the proposed scheduled dates they never arrived. Moving a couple times since returning to South Africa didn’t make it easier.
Anyway, 10 years later and I find myself having joined a company whose offices are in the CBD with a permanent blood donation clinic literally one block from the office! Convenience deluxe.
At least now I know where I can go once every 2 months and know they’ll be there and willing to take my donation. They’re so eager to get my donations now that they even gave me a ring this morning on my way to work to remind me that I was due to donate another pint.
As long as you’re healthy, not on any serious medication, drug- and HIV-free, at least 17 years of age and over 55kg in weight you’re a likely candidate to becoming a donor. They need all blood-types but since the O-type is a universal blood-type, meaning it can be given as a transfusion to all other blood-types as they’re high in demand.
So now I’ll be a regular donor again, doing my part to help. I even recruited a colleague today who came along for his first donation, which went down without any problems.
If you want to know more about becoming a donor, in South Africa, visit the Western Province Blood Transfusion Service website.
Go ahead do your part, it’s just so easy.