Saturday, February 06, 2010

SuNDay BLooDy SuNDay, PaRT V, FeB. 7

Well, awesome readers and aweome donors, I had been down and out about the response from my blood drive but I discovered my emails were not coming to my main email address and some of these entries were NOT getting to me. So I'm very happy to report that I have a bunch of great donors to highlight today!

First up, we have Patricia, who can tell us all how desperately your blood is needed Her story is great:

I gave blood today!! Lots and lots of blood.

Thought you might like to here the other side of giving blood. I work in Cardiac Surgery and today my day started with a call to the blood bank ordering blood for my patients that would be having open heart surgery.

My first patient needed 8 bags of platelets. Our hospital only had 7 (for the whole hospital!) This happens on a daily basis. We had to get an emergency shipment and when I left last night there were no more platelets in the hospital and none to be found. The need for blood donors is huge!

Here's what I gave today (TO ONE PATIENT!)~

8- units of blood; 12- 6 packs of platelets; 6 -fresh frozen plasma; 4- cryoprecipitate

That was in addition to the cell saver blood we gave back (patients own blood). This was all for one person over the 9 hours they were in the OR. This patient would also be getting blood and blood products through the night while in ICU. This happens on a regular basis. There is never enough blood. Thanks for encouraging others to donate. YOU ROCK!!
So guys, can you believe ALL THAT BLOOD IS NEEDED FOR ONE PERSON!?!? Crazy shit, isn't it? Thanks Patricia for giving us all a little insight on what really goes on behind the scenes. And thank you for being a blood goddess, deliverer of the goods, and for taking care of the patients! Love this story!

Next up, we have Michelle B, of Cary, NC who is an alum Manic Mommy blood donor and here's her story. Michele donates platelets every Friday, or tries to when she's feeling well, and she says the hardest part is making sure your iron is up high enough! :
I've said it before, and I'll say it again: It's super easy to donate! Passing the iron test is the hardest part, and wiggling my fingers before they take the blood seems to have fixed my problem! Stupid poor circulation! After that, you just sit in one of these awesome chairs and wait for two hours! As you can see with the guy behind me, that screen pulls down in front of you and you can watch a movie, if you'd like. I usually have a book on my iPod, and I'll listen to that, instead. This Friday, I actually just listened to music for the whole time :)

So! Yes! Super easy, super fun, and you can totally eat snack cakes guilt free at the end! :)

You can read Michelle's full post over at Naiadkitty. Thanks so much Michelle! You are a wonderful person!

Next up, we have Holly from Ohio! Here's her story:

Hi! my name is Holly S.

I am glad you are having the virtual blood drive again this year! I told the nurses about it today! I am a VIP donor with the Red Cross which means I pledge to give blood 6 times per year! Except when prohibited by pregnancy, a piercing or my job (before I became a Mom),I have been a loyal donor since my first blood drive in high school!

I try to give six times a year to keep my Red Cross VIP status. I started giving blood when my high school sponsored a blood drive my senior year. My chosen occupation kept me from donating for a long time, but now that I am a SAHM, I am back to giving regularly! I hope your virtual blood drive gets lots of new blood donors!

Holly, thanks so much for taking part in this, and for pledging to donate six times a year! I don't need to tell you what an amazing feeling it is to donate blood, or how wonderful it is to know you are saving lives! But from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU! I hope your story and what you do will impact others to go out there and donate too! PS--I LOVE it when donors get the blood workers involved in the photo shoots as well! It's always so much fun!

Anne from NY found out about the MaNiC MoMMy Virtual Blog for Blood Drive through Twitter and I'm so glad that she did! She's got a great story to share on why she's donating!

I am reporter/producer for Parents TV in New York City. In college, I gave blood regularly and have been looking to give again in the years since, but haven’t really gotten to it. When I came across MaNiC MoMMy’S Virtual Blog for Blood Drive Challenge on Twitter, it seemed like the perfect opportunity! Because I am a healthy, active, 26-year-old who is able to donate blood and has done so many times without incident, I feel it is my duty to donate. I have no excuse! There’s no reason for me to pass up such a simple way to save lives.So glad people have been donating!

Anne, it was MY pleasure to have YOU be a part of this! You're an inspiration to the younger generation, although really, I'm not old enough to be your mother or anything like that, I'm just sayin' you could reach a lot of impressionable people! Thanks for donating, and keep up the great work! And you looked beautiful doing so!

And you know what, if you tell a friend, maybe she'll tell a friend too! This is what happened when donor Susan Hines (featured in January 17 blog post) donated in January and told her friend Crystal, from Indiana, about the blood drive. Here's Crystal's story:

Susan told me about your contest and took a picture of me in the blood donation chair, just as I was finishing up. I started donating blood when I was 17 or 18 (whatever the minimum age to donate is), because my grandma had just been diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma, a blood and bone cancer. At the beginning of the disease, her platelet counts plummeted regularly, and blood donations saved her life several times until the cancer treatments stabilized her condition. She lived in Aurora, IL, so the blood I donated never went directly to her, or to replenish supplies in her area, but I figured someone else's grandma needed blood transfusions here in Indy. I got out of the habit of donating in college (no blood drives on campus, and no car to get to the blood bank), but my workplace holds a blood drive every 60 days, and I've been donating regularly for about a year now. So, that's what drives me to donate.

Thank you Crystal! And how amazing that at such a young age, you knew the importance of giving blood to help, even though you knew it wasn't going directly to your grandma, you knew it was out there helping someone, and in turn, that would help her. Good karma, good karma.

And here ... here is the type of story I LOVE! Reagan, from Athens, GA, has been a long-time Manic reader and I consider her a pal. She waited very patiently for a CD I had promised her that she won and it took me like 8 months to send to her. I finally sent it to her after I had heard she and her boyfriend had gotten engaged! (Actually, I sent her two cuz it took me so long!) So what does she go and do? She goes and donates BLOOD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HER ENTIRE LIFE, FOR THE MANIC BLOOD DRIVE! Total awesomeness!

Hi, Manic!

I donated blood for the FIRST TIME EVER yesterday, just for you! I've always had "bad" veins, and have terrible luck at the doctor's office just to get blood drawn for my own tests, so I had never wanted to even try to donate. But this year, it just felt right. My lovely fiance went with me for support, and the staff was awesome, and they got my vein on the first try!!! Unheard of!! Thanks for the inspiration- I'll definitely be donating regularly now!

Sincerely, Reagan B.

And Beth E, from Tennessee, well, let's just say, she's no newcomer to the old needle! This donation brought her up to a GALLON DONOR! How incredible is that, to know that she has been able to save easily at least 24 lives with her own BLOOD! And when you think of it, she has done more than that, because with every life she has saved, she has always healed FAMILIES with her generous donation of blood. In Beth's own words:

I donated on January 18, 2010. This donation made me a gallon donor! It blows my mind that I have potentially saved 24 lives with my blood donations! I donate to save lives. I look at my children and imagine if they ever needed blood and it breaks my heart to know there are people who do need blood and not enough people donate. Like many women, I have to really pay attention a few days before a donation and get my iron up. This time I even ate some raisins, which I don't care for, but my hemoglobin was great! Thanks for raising awareness for the Red Cross and blood donation!

Thank YOU so much Beth, for doing what you do, and here's to another gallon!

Here's another great donor who happens to live very close to me! Maybe we will have a field trip someday to my favorite Heartland Blood Center to donate TWO pints!
Hi ManicMommy,
I have been reading your blog for a long time and I think you are great. This is my first time donating blood since college (eek! 18 years!). I did it because you made it sound so easy and it was! The people were so nice and I was in and out of there fast. When I donated, I found out that I am blood type O- which is a universal donor and very rare. Therefore, I will definitely make an appointment to donate when the reminder comes in the mail -Donna W.

Thanks Donna! I'm glad you were inspired and that you felt it was easy to do. I think someday I may want to work at a blood center, not as the needle-sticker-person, but maybe as the snack-giver-outer! I love how you wore red for the occasion! Was that in case they spilled a little blood onto your shirt? ; ) Haha! Just kiddin'!
Karen M. of Phoenix braved the elements and went out to donate some blood (Karen, that's a little joke there, seeing as I'm freezing my butt off here in Chicago and in fact, my husband just got home from a biz trip in Phoenix the other night!). Karen's actually not "frigid" when it comes to donating as she's a "Gold Card Donor" through United Blood Services, donating three or more times per year. Here's what got her into the groove of giving:

I started donating on a regular basis after my father had a massive heart attack in December of 2006. He needed many transfusions and I realized how incredibly important blood donations are. He would have died without it. Since then I donate on a regular basis and bug, bully, guilt and coerce my friends to donate too. (Oh man Karen, I LOVE THAT LINE!) I figure even just one donation is extremely valuable, especially during the holidays when donations tend to be very low.

I am a huge proponent of blood donation and I thank you for pushing it on your website! It is an easy way for people to give and actually has some health benefits for the donor. :)

I took the attached picture myself with my cell phone (as if you couldn't tell.) I am just too shy to ask the staff to take a picture of me! One of these days I will have to make sure I have a camera when I bring a friend or my husband. Regards, Karen M.

Karen, you seem to have the same attitude as I do! Let's get anyone and everyone to donate a pint! In fact, giving blood should be mandatory for everyone who is physically healthy and able to do so. If a person wants to drive a car in this country, drink a beer in this country, have health insurance in this country, then they should also fork over a pint of blood every couple of months. Whadda ya think?! Am I crazy or what? HA! Probably. Should we start a petition? I bet Obama would love that one!

Next up is a MaNiC MoMMy alum! Alicia donated last year for my virtual drive, but that wasn't her first time to the needle! Nope! Alicia has been donating for 26 YEARS and is up to 19 GALLONS! Talk about incredible! Imagine lining up 19 gallons of milk (except envision them filled with RED BLOOD in them. Ewww, but WOW, really, really cool, cuz man, that is some LIFE-SAVING stuff in those gallons! And those 19 all came from Alicia! (Well, not all at once, but ... you get the picture!)

I usually donate platelets once a month, but we had a blood drive for work yesterday (I work for the police department), Battle of the Badges, versus the fire department. The police department kicked butt! Anyhow, I was the first donor of the day and donated a double unit of red blood cells. I love giving blood as I feel I am doing my small part to help others in need. I am also registered with the National Bone Marrow Registry, and think that would be the most selfless thing one could do for another. It is very cool what you are doing to get more people to donate blood. There is always a shortage in our area. Thank you! Alicia W., Hersperia, CA.

Alicia, I love it when you donors thank me because it's YOU I have to thank! I'm not doing anything! Thank you for helping to promote this and for always being the people out there who DON'T QUIT giving! I truly believe once a giver, always a giver, and you're a true case to this point! And YAY to the police department for kicking butt, but I can say that only because I don't smell any smoke at the moment! : )

This one especially gives me goosebumps. Monique T. donated last year directly to her father who was having major, major heart surgery. This is what she wrote to me this year when she sent in her photo:

Gave and continue to give b/c someone gave my dad a new heart and the least I can do to say thank you is to donate my extra blood to someone who needs it.

Monique, you remind me why I spend almost three months of every year focused on doing this blood drive. Thank you. And give your dad a big hug.

And here is Donald from Houston! Hey Donald! Donald has been a part of this drive for as long as I have been a part of this drive! He's donated from the get-go! That's pretty cool if you ask me! I don't even know if he reads the blog. Each year I just send him a note, "Hey Donald, send me a picture; I need your pint!" and what does he do? He does it for me! That's pretty awesome! So, here are his words of wisdom to anyone out there who may be a little bit, shall we say, "on the fence" about this whole donatang-thang:

Hi Stephanie -

I'm pretty sure I've been in all three years of your blood drive. Went to a different Blood Center location on Saturday. This location has a TV and Directv at every donation chair, so it was nice to be able to flip around some college hoops while giving double red blood cells.

For those who have a thing about needles, some experience, strength and hope from someone who has given over 5 gallons of blood - don't look when they put the needle in! :) Take care, hope you get a good turnout in the next month.

You might not be donating directly to a person you know, but hey, I always believe in good karma, and one day, you may need that pint of blood and like Patricia mentioned at the very beginning of this post, that one person needed EIGHT bags of platelets and there were only SEVEN bags at their hospital. You just never know who may need blood or when it may be needed. God's given you this gift to share what's inside of you for FREE. It's there, it's available. If you're healthy, and feel like you've got it in you to do it, why not take an hour out of your day to give. It will make you feel like you've done something positive and it truly WILL change the lives of a person, or two people or three people. You just never know when it's needed. But, there's one thing that is known for sure. IT IS NEEDED. Every day, the gift of blood is needed.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and those who need your pint!

Some housekeeping notes:

There's still PLENTY of time to jump on the bandwagon and donate! You've got until February 28. That's THREE full weeks left, so I'd LOVE to get at least 20 more of you to commit to giving me a pint of your blood. Last year I had about 50 donors, and I'm not anywhere NEAR that yet. I don't know what's holding some of you back this year? It's frustrating, for sure. Because it's such an easy, generous, satisfying, gracious task that actually leaves you FULFILLED.

Prizes: If you've donated a pint or platelets, sent in your picture and have been featured on a Sunday, Bloody Sunday, you're entered! We're giving away a roundtrip ticket on Southwest Airlines, Suave Beauty Basket, Gift Cards, and whatever else I'll be able to dig up from now until the end of February so if you have something you'd like to donate as a prize, let me know!

If you want more details on how to enter, they can all be found at GotBlood. If you have questions, email me at stephanieelliot @ If you send in your blood donation photo and don't see it posted the following Sunday, email me again as there has been a technical ERROR.


Moll said...

Wow! So many donors! That is great!

Barb said...

Can Canadians be in on the draws? I've never donated blood but have been considering doing it this year.

MaNiC MoMMy™ said...

Barb, I would say yes, the only thing is the Southwest airline ticket you might not be able to qualify for cuz they don't fly to Canada! Thanks for asking, and yeah for you for wanting to donate!!