Posts Tagged ‘blood donation’
Yesterday my big twins – Imogen and Madeline turned sixteen.
It’s a big milestone in any person’s life.
It’s a big milestone in a mother’s life too.
It’s hard to believe that these two babies are now old enough to learn to drive.
To say I am amazed by their grace and beauty and the way that these two wonderous creatures have chosen to carry themselves through life
would be an understatement.
I was truly blessed the day they came into my life.
Yesterday they and a few of their friends chose to become first time blood donors.
The usual birthday festivities gave way to the planning and execution of their ‘blood donor party’ which had been a year in the making.
It was all they wanted
and so Dave and I hired them a stretch hummer
because if you are going to do something as selfless as that on a day that should be all about you
then you might as well do it in style.
It rocked up to the school gates to pick them up at 3pm.
They put the call out to their friends and eight others joined them, David, Mum, the other kids and I.
It wasn’t about the ride in the fancy car, either.
(It was SO about the fancy car for Noah and Mal ).
It was because all of these kids honestly wanted to help.
They wanted to help Ivy mostly
but some of them had stories of family, who had needed blood too
and Immy and Maddy also had their grandmother on their mind, knowing that she needed a transfusion just last week.
When we arrived we were met by the lovely Talia from ARCBS, who stepped the kids through the interview process.
She had decorated the waiting room with balloons and streamers and organised cake.
There was a lot of nervous tension – giving blood is a big deal in anybody’s world
but being sixteen and first time donors, there was a lot to think about.
Most of them were worried they wouldn’t get through and that they would not be allowed to donate
and of course there was the worry about having a needle.
The first five went through and were knocked back for various reasons, my Mum too
and I could see everyone becoming disheartened
especially my girls.
They all understood though that there are strict guidelines for a reason and that Australia has high standards in blood service because of it.
When Maddy’s name was called she looked anxious
but came out minutes later with tthe biggest smile on her face.
She was the first one through and the first to donate from our little group.
Maddy was very wary of the needle but Ivy was there holding her hand tightly
and soon enough it was in.
The look on Ivy’s face said everything – she was at once in awe and proud of her sister.
I was proud.
After that the two boys who had come with us were given the okay to donate and we were on a roll.
There was much celebration in that little donation room.
As each person got through there were cheers and rounds of applause, not only from our crowd but from the nurses and the public who were there to donate too.
Finally it was Immy’s turn who set a new record by pumping her first donation out in five minutes and five seconds.
They were all amazing (even the friends who were unable to donate) and I thanked them all profusely.
Of course I was most proud of my girls, who made their sixteenth birthday about giving to others.
Maddy said it was the best birthday ever – to see Ivy’s reaction was the best feeling
and Immy said it felt good to be able to give something back, after all that had been given to help Ivy
and that, for me, was the best gift I could possibly ask for.
Happy 16th birthday girls.
Thank you for being you.
Last week we went into a radio station
to talk about the importance of blood donation.
The day before I had gone to talk with some amazing high school students, who are a part of a Young Ambassadors program.
A small group of wonderfully enthusiastic kids, who are passionate about blood donation too,
so it ‘s been a reminder of how much Ivy and our family have been given.
Actually, Ivy had been nominated as a local hero by our friends at the Australian Red Cross Blood Service
and the interview was supposed to surround that too.
It was kind of strange but also kind of exciting and nice all at once.
We were able to meet Jemma and Cath from the blood service, which for me, was wonderful.
The interview itself was really very anti climactic
if it gets the message out that blood donation is so life altering to people like Ivy
and that we appreciate the people who give us such a wonderful gift
then that is the most important thing.
What really stuck with me was meeting Allan
or rather, when Allan and Ivy met.
Allan is a long time donor who has been donating since he was in his 20′s
after a friend of his passed away.
He has donated an amazing amount of blood, plasma and platelets
and when he met the small girl I could feel the electricity in the air.
That amazing moment when donor and recipient meet – Ivy knowing that this man has helped her in so many ways is such a lovely thing to watch
and just quietly, I think he was a little bit smitten too.
Thank you Allan.
This is not the post I had planned for today.
In my mind I had a triumphant post about how I was able to donate blood again,
after almost two years struggling with anaemia.
I’d been given the all clear and so I booked in today, you see.
I’ve done all the right things;
taken my double dose iron tablets for six months (which then excluded me from donating for another 12)
tried to eat more meat and more vegies
but it was no good.
My levels were too low.
Banned for another 18 months, while I try to get my levels up again.
I sat in the car park and cried.
I feel as though there is so much that I can’t control with Ivy’s health
and I feel helpless and useless
and like I’ve failed her.
Donating my blood was the one thing I could give her.
It made me feel like I was doing something for her
how can I ask others to donate blood when I can’t even do it myself?
It seems trite for me to stand in front of people and implore them to give
when I cannot.
I am really disheartened this afternoon
but I am also thankful for the people who can donate.
At least I can still do that.
I can still say thank you.