The garden blogging world is reeling from the illness of one of our friends, Katie Swanberg, who lives out in Folsom, California. I’ve never met her in person, but I enjoy her blog, and talking with her through twitter. Her go-get-em spirit, lust for life, and take-charge attitude have obviously touched something in a lot of people from around the globe, all of whom are rallying around Katie and her family, sending well-wishes, praying, giving up things like beer and shaving (@betweenthelimes @cityslipper), and doing all sorts of things to coax her back to health.
Yesterday was a shockingly fun and productive day for me, mostly because of my twitter friends. I could hardly go to sleep last night. So, while I lay awake, I thought of something that everyone can do to help Katie fight, and other Katies who need our help:
When I was a little girl, I went with Dad and sat while he gave blood. He gave religiously, until he couldn’t. I never gave until I started working for a place that granted vacation days for donating. So, yes, I needed a selfish reason to start, but, and those of you who have given blood will understand, once you start, you’ll never want to stop.
Giving blood is one of THE EASIEST things you can do to help save lives. It is a renewable resource. You can give every 56 days. ALL blood that is donated is USED. 100% . Unless it is contaminated. WHAT ELSE can you give that is used 100%? Pretty much nothing. It is FREE for you to give your blood. And, you feel SO GOOD for helping. Your donation can help save the lives of up to three people.
Last night, when reading the update from Katie’s sister, I saw that they had given Katie some whole blood, which is what most people donate. That means that YOU can help Katie by donating your blood.
Currently, only 3 out of 100 eligible donors in the United States donate blood. I am going to give my Red Cross a call, after I’ve kicked this cold. I donated as often as I could for several years, once I started, and then my iron count kept coming back too low. I was so disappointed, but it has been two years, so I’m going to try again!
UPDATE: 4/28/2010 The #ILM (Wilmington, NC) Tweetup this month was a BLEEDUP (as in, we all went and gave blood). I went back and was able to successfully donate! And eat a great big ol’ hamburger for dinner! 🙂
Don’t Be Afraid
Honestly, my least favorite part of the process is the finger stick to test the iron. When they stick for the donation, I just look away. I also don’t look while I’m donating, because it freaks me out. But, that’s me.
A GREAT UPSIDE to donating blood: You can give yourself a FREE PASS on the day you donate to eat lots of calorie-dense foods, and drinks with sugar. It’s fantastic!
So, please, for Katie, and everyone else out there, find your local donation center, and DONATE BLOOD, TODAY!