Overcoming Fear to Help Save a Life

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Yesterday I had an amazing experience. My university campus hosted a blood donation center for the Red Cross, and I decided I wanted to be a blood donor. When I was really young I was in a car accident and the Red Cross saved my life, so I wanted to give back and help with the great work they do. 

You have no idea how much of a baby I am. I’m scared of needles, any kind of needle, I hate them. I told my mom I wanted to be a donor and the first thing she said is “You’re probably going to faint when you see the huge needle they’ll be using to pump out the blood.” I decided to make some research about donating blood, and it was comforting, most people say it doesn’t hurt at all. Still I was scared as hell to do it.

The day came and I was nervous the whole morning. I was hungry since you need at least 6 hours of fasting, but I was ready. I even asked a friend to go with me so he could babysit me and hold my hand because, again, I’m a coward.  I arrived to the donation center, and after filling out a few forms, a few temperature and blood pressure tests I was ready to do it. I lied down in the cot they had and “relaxed” as much as I could. The nurse told me it would take about ten minutes to fill the bag with blood so I should relax. She told me she would proceed to insert the needle so I decided to take a look. That wasn’t a needle! It was so damn huge it looked like one of those little straws you use to stir your coffee! She was probably going to leave a huge hole in my arm! I was terrified, so I turned away.

In retrospective I realize the needle wasn’t even that huge, and it didn’t hurt at all when it went right through my vein. After a good 3-4 minutes the nurse came back and told me my bag was almost full, she told me the blood had left my body way to quickly and I was probably going to faint. That’s exactly what happened, but when I woke up I was pretty happy.

They gave a speech of how my blood would help save 4 people’s lives. I have a very common blood type (O+) so they need a lot of my type of blood.  I was really happy I could help and I’m looking forward to doing it again. I think donating blood is a great gift. You give a part of yourself to help someone in need. It is a selfless act that makes you feel really proud of yourself.

I encourage all the healthy people to be a part of the blood donation campaigns; you never know when someone you love might need it. And coming from the biggest baby alive, I can tell you it doesn’t hurt one bit.

You can visit the Red Cross website to see the requirements and find a donation center near you.

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