The American Red Cross is known for many different things – disaster relief, fundraising, and of course – blood drives. The blood collected at these drives supplies 45% of transfused blood nationwide. Being one of the only agencies in the country that hosts blood drives, it’s a big deal when you get to host or participate in a drive locally. On February 22nd, at the drive we hosted at the Snohomish County chapter I had an experience that impacted my service and my life.
In high school, I was never able to donate blood because I wasn’t healthy enough. That same trend continued through my college years as well. I had always wanted to donate but time after time I wasn’t allowed. Lately, I have been making some changes in my life and I got interested in learning more about my blood type. I had no idea what it was and I figured that it was something I should know. The day of our drive I asked one of the nurses running it if she could blood type me, and she told me that she only could if I donated blood. I explained to her that I’d never been able to donate, but she convinced me to give the screening a try. To my surprise, I passed! I was in shock that I was finally able to participate in something I’d never been able to do. It was a rush of fear and excitement as they got me hooked up and drew my blood. A few days later I accessed my blood type and was told that I had type A-. A- is a rare type; only about 6.3% or one in 16 people have it! After getting my results, I did some research and I got to learn some valuable information about my health.
I am so thankful that my service gave me the opportunity to finally achieve something that I had been trying so long to do. This experience also gave me an important insight to my personal health. I love that my service let me contribute a part of myself that could potentially save someone’s life.