I’ve given blood a dozen or so times since I first gave in high school during a school blood drive. After I had children, I just stopped. It wasn’t a conscious decision; it was just one of the many things that fell off the bottom of an always too long to do list. I never gave it much thought until this spring, when a combination of congenital heart defects led my best friend’s son Bowen to need almost constant blood transfusions during his too-short life.
Tomorrow, in memory of Bowen and in honor of all the donors whose blood sustained him during his life, his parents are hosting the first annual Team BoHawk Blood Drive in Indianapolis. The response has been amazing and all 120 appointments on Tuesday have been filled (although the Bloodmobile will be visiting several Ed Martin dealerships in Indy over the course of the summer if you missed out on a chance to give this week! Details will be available soon on their blog).
Even with the community’s amazing outpouring in memory of Bo, the need is still great. Only 3%* of the US population gives blood, even though more than 38,000 donations are needed each day in the US to meet the ever-constant need**. The laundry-list of blood donation statistics seems daunting, as does the fact that restrictions (including a rather antiquated one disqualifying sexually-active gay men from donating), leave less than 38% of the population qualified to give. If that wasn’t enough to encourage you to donate, consider some of the stories. Read more