April 3, 2015
Giving Blood on Good Fridayby Kim Jackson
For 29 years I have volunteered to let someone stick me with a needle and remove some of the precious fluid that keeps me alive.
Thanks to a young man in my youth group who needed an Eagle Scout project in 1986, I’m a blood donor. I was his guinea pig, so to speak. After I gave blood for the first time, our church held a blood drive, Robbie received his Eagle Scout award, and I became a life-long blood donor.
In 1995 I became a specialty donor. That’s because I seem to be an over achiever when it comes to platelet production. Donors must have a minimum platelet count of 150. Mine consistently soars over 350.
When I donate platelets I’m connected to a machine that collects approximately 10% of the billions of platelets in my body. I can give as frequently as every two weeks because our bodies are so wonderfully created that the platelets I donate are replaced within 24-48 hours.
Once the needle is in my arm and the machine starts whirring, I always take a few minutes to silently pray for the person who will be receiving my platelets. Since a literal part of me is going to help a cancer, cardiac, or transplant patient, I can be confident that my prayers are needed even though I will never meet whoever benefits from my donation.
I donate platelets as often as my schedule allows, but for the past few years I've made it a priority to give on Good Friday. The analogies are plentiful. To me it’s a particularly meaningful time to give something of myself to help others live.
I donated again this year on Good Friday at the CBCC Concord Center and a dear friend, Janna, joined me. Janna works in home health, so she’s especially grateful that our donations with CBCC always stay in the community to help local people in need.
Donating platelets is such a small sacrifice to make: in just a couple of hours, in a nice setting, one person can easily give what could mean life to another human being. I will continue to make that small sacrifice as often as I am able, and every year I’ll give on Good Friday in remembrance of a much greater sacrifice.