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First-time Donor after Superstorm Sandy

  

Jamie Wiggins

Pullman, WA
December 18, 2012
I have always been afraid of needles. Taking me for immunizations was always a struggle for my mother. Even my final immunizations at the age of 20 involved tears and opposition. Needless to say, my desire to help those in need of blood was always trumped by my fear of needles. That all changed as I watched the devestation caused by Superstorm Sandy. I sat helplessly on my couch,as I am currently unemployed and couldn't afford to send a donation. I repeatedly heard anchors and representatives from the American Red Cross report that many blood drives across the east coast had to be cancelled and there would potentially be a blood shortage. I finally decided that the least I could do is get pricked and donate my blood, which I have plenty of and doesn't cost me anything put possibly a little bit of discomfort. It was furthered confirmed for me that it was the right thing to do, when I attended church the following Sunday and discovered that our church was hosting a blood drive. With my husband by my side for support (he also donated) I experienced my first blood donation at age 27. I am so glad that I decided to donate!! Yes, the feeling of the needle was intense for a minute, but it really wasn't that bad. The nursing staff was very comforting and professional, they made me feel relaxed and appreciated. The few seconds of discomfort are nothing in comparison to what the recipient of my blood probably will suffer. The experience was awesome. Finally, I received not one, but two phone calls (weeks apart) from American Red Cross staff thanking me for donating and praising me for donating for my first time during a time when blood was in high need during the storm relief. I encourage anyone who can to donate. I love helping people and that is the most important reason to donate. Appreciate your health and do what you can to help others become and remain healthy. Your blood can save a life and really doesn't cost you anything but a little bit of time. I received my Blood Donor Card in the mail today and I know I will be using it again in a few months!