This morning I woke up and realized I will be in Florida one month from today, along with hundreds and hundreds of nerds, about to embark on the 6th annual JocoCruiseCrazy. If you’ve never been, I highly recommend it. And if you’ve wanted to go but didn’t want to go to the Caribbean, they just made an announcement for 2017 that I bet you’re going to love!
One of the ports on the last two cruises was to Haiti. It’s a really pretty place but there’s one thing I hadn’t thought of until AFTER the first cruise there. When you visit a third world country such as this one, you can’t donate blood for a year after the date you return home. This means I haven’t been able to donate for TWO YEARS. I was really disappointed because although I don’t donate blood as often as I could, I did always make sure to do it on or near my birthday because celebrating the years I’ve been alive is a reminder that there are so many people whose life may depend on getting a blood transfusion. The best gift, I feel, is to give to these people in need.
If you have never donated red blood cells, plasma, or platelets before, here are a few facts (According to the American Red Cross) about it that may help you to understand how much it helps others:
-Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.
-One donation can save up to three people.
-Approximately 41,000 donations are needed every day.
-A healthy donor may donate platelets every 7 days, up to a maximum of 24 times a year.
-A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days.
-Only nine percent of people in the U.S. have O negative blood type. O negative blood type donors are universal donors as their blood type can be given to people of all blood types.
-Three percent of people in the U.S. have AB positive blood type (THAT’S ME!!). AB positive donors are universal donors of plasma, which is often used in emergencies, for newborns and for patients requiring massive transfusions.
If you’re a healthy person who is able to donate blood, I highly recommend doing so. And if you attended the last JoCo cruise, you are finally able to donate as of February 8th! There are wonderful organizations that are able to take your donation. Just use the handy tool called the internet and find a place near you. I choose to donate to City of Hope in Duarte, CA. They saved the life of my friend who has leukemia and I know the patients there are people like her, who need life saving blood, plasma, platelets, and bone marrow donations from healthy people like me. If you’re interested in becoming a bone marrow donor, you can go here and follow the easy steps on how to get on the national registry. I haven’t been matched with anyone yet, but I really hope I get the opportunity someday!