30 Days of Thankfulness: Day 12

My mom almost died nine years ago.

One word changes that sentence from tragic to miraculous. “Almost.”

If you’re a faithful reader or a close friend, you know my family’s story. My mom developed a rare disease called “disseminated intravascular coagulation” and started bleeding internally. She lost more than half of her blood supply. Medically speaking, she shouldn’t even be here today. She only had a 10% chance of surviving…and she did.

Today, for day 12, I’m thankful for blood donors. I’m thankful for people that take time out of their busy days to donate their blood. I’m thankful for the people who overcome their fear of needles, their queasiness, and personal reservations about giving. I’m thankful for the people who donated the blood that saved my mom’s life. We’ll never meet them, never know their names, never know their life situations, but we are connected to them in a very special way.

The average human body contains 10­-12 pints of blood. My mom needed every last drop. Because my dad had reluctantly donated blood to the Medic Regional Blood Center in Knoxville that year, Medic covered our family. Every ounce of blood my mom received was free.

It’s accurate to say that doctors and scientists have made incredible medical advancements over the years, but there is absolutely no substitute for blood. It sustains us. We cannot function without blood flowing through us.

When you donate blood, you save the life of someone’s spouse, parent, sibling, or friend. One donation alone saves three lives.

I’m giving blood this afternoon at a company blood drive. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve donated, I still get nervous beforehand. But I know how important it is to give. I remind myself of the anonymous people who gave nine years ago and how it saved my mom’s life. I remind myself that my blood—the donation that I give—could possibly save someone’s life. It could change a family’s future.

Donate blood. Save a life.

Blood Donation

To find out more about blood donation and to find a spot where you can donate, visit the American Red Cross website. Remember, you must be at least 17-years-old to donate.

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