I’ve donated my blood fifty times – you could do it too!

Have you ever reached a milestone you have been proud of? Maybe you finished something that took years or many long hours to do? This year I passed making 50 blood donations*. I’m not incredibly proud of this achievement, but when I consider all the decisions and efforts needed to get to that number, I am grateful for reaching it.

I just attended a celebration event with the Red Cross where people were thanked for donating blood and stories were shared of lives changed by donors. There were people there who had reached 50 donations, as well as 100, 150, up to 350 donations! The highest milestone in Western Australia this year was a person who donated over 700 times. It’s impressive how faithfulness to a cause can get you to reach such a point. It’s made me think how small steps over a long time can lead to great achievements. So here is my encouragement for you to continue or start a journey in faithfulness.

Pic: My dad and I, and a red blood cell

When I started my journey in donating blood I had no aspirations to reach a number, and I still don’t. It was just a matter of doing something I believed had value. It was something to do with family and something selfless to do for others. I was 17 or so when I first donated, and now I’m 28. Over that time I certainly wasn’t always a faithful visitor to the blood bank, but in the last couple of years I made a concerted effort to donate regularly. The numbers started to add up. It became a normal part of my routine. When I reached 50 donations, I was simply happy, as it was a sign I had been healthy and able to do that much.

*Most of these have been plasma donations, which meant I could donate every 2 weeks. Whole blood donations require a 3 month wait period between times.

Why am I commited?

I have many motivations for the different commitments in my life. With donating, I’ve found several. The more people I come across, the more I realise donating blood is an honour for the healthy and available. There are a plethora of reasons that much of my family finds it difficult to donate. I just happen to have big arm veins and healthy body and the willingness to do it. So I donate not just for myself, but also for those who can’t or find it hard.

At the Red Cross event we heard two very moving stories of the impact of blood and bone marrow products had on children and their families. It’s given me a renewed desire to give and to encourage others to do the same. One of the stories was from the Tate family. Their three children all have no immune system! They need blood transfusions every three weeks. Watch below for their experience:

What about you?

So I encourage you to find something worthwhile and sticking at it. It may be for a season of life or end up a lifelong commitment. For this post, may I encourage you to consider donating blood. It’s a relatively small commitment. For me, it takes at most 45 minutes to donate plasma, not including travel and the interview and health test. You will probably never meet the patient in need, but every person is worthy of the blood in their veins. Their family will be thankful.

I thank God for the way he has made us, so that we can help one another in this way. He is worthy of all the honour and glory I got at the event. My life, my blood, is not my own but was bought at a great price. So I must glorify the Lord in my body.

Head over to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service (or to your own national blood service) for more technical info and to book your donation!