This week I finally got myself to the Red Cross Donor Centre at Bourke St in Melbourne for a whole blood donation. I have been donating for a while now thanks to my former colleague Laura Blasdale who earned the nickname Miss Charity for her giving ways and encouraging others to do the same, usually by her leading by example.
Giving blood is such a good thing to do and, if you are eligible, I urge you to overcome your fear of needles (something I used to have ridiculous panic attacks about) and get down there with your sleeve rolled up and brave face on knowing you’re giving in a way that can really help save lives.
And if this isn’t enough to convince you then focus on the free cookies, snack packs, chocolates, hot dogs and milkshakes you get after you’ve donated.
My lovely friend Khara came with me on Tuesday for her very first blood donation, something I am appreciative of and admire her for because I know it isn’t easy. Although she didn’t get a full donation out she has bravely vowed to go back and try again. It can be a challenge getting a full donation from first-time donors and I hope it doesn’t put people off going back again.
If you are going, be sure to have a decent meal before you go and drink plenty of water. The more hydrated you are the easier the donation. I drink massive amounts starting about 24 hours beforehand and yes, I was up all night before!
The people at the Donor Centre are just lovely and so thankful to those who donate. So, if you can, please do. You could save a life.