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Gift of Life ... And Time

January 29, 2008 - Phyllis Sigal
Well, I tried.

For years I've shuddered at the idea of giving blood, even though I knew that my O negative blood is a much sought-after type. My fear was based on the fact that I had passed out in an elevator at the hospital years and years ago after having had blood drawn from my arm.

But this year I decided that I would support the Media Day Blood Drive at WesBanco. Being a chicken is just not a good enough reason anymore. I need to be more mature, I decided.

So, around 3 p.m. on Monday, my husband and I signed in, along with hundreds of other potential donors. And, about an hour and 45 minutes later, we discovered that neither one of us was eligible.

Our recent trip to the Riviera Maya in Mexico put us out of the running due to possible exposure to malaria. And my red blood cell count was slightly lower than the required number. So, off we went, back to work, with our T-shirts in hand. Dejected. Rejected.

But we tried. I do feel good about that.

What a great cause the Media Day Blood Drive is. I remember when the very first Media Day Blood Drive was held ... way back when Billy Blood Drop was a brand new heart throb. Back in those days I couldn't donate because I didn't weigh enough. I've grown out of that excuse.

It really does the heart good to see so many people out for a good cause. However, a few words of advice to the Red Cross. Please find a way to move people in and out more quickly. I know people who gave up about four or five hours of their day to give blood. Next time, they may not come back because they might not have that many hours to spare. I saw many people leave because they didn't want to wait. And that's a shame. They wanted to help. But the long wait made it impossible for some.

The Greater Alleghenies Blood Region of the Red Cross collected 630 pints of blood on Monday. About 849 tried to donate. Just think how many more pints over the 500-pint goal could've been collected had things been flowing a bit better.


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