Originally published 8.8.14
If you are inspired by Mr. 11 and Sandra & Melissa, you too can donate! Go here to find a blood drive near you: http://www.redcross.org/blood
So here's the thing... I want the world to be a better place because I'm in it and I like to be a ray of light in dark places. What that means is I purposely look for ways to pay it forward. I must say one of the easiest and most rewarding ways is giving blood... except for the poking parts, I hate those, especially the iron prick, that one hurts like a bugger! Anyway, I give (when I'm not anemic) because it's the right thing to do. Do you realize that, according to the Red Cross, one singular donation can save up to three lives? How great is that? I sit for a bit and that little amount of time, and blood, actually save lives. It's not a maybe, it's a fact.
I have saved lives! I'm like a super hero, you can be too!
That's the back ground, now you know why I give, so let me get into my last donation. It was a long day at the office and I was stoked to leave and go donate. Supplies are down nationwide and they needed my help. I'm a big helper so I was up to the challenge. Little did I know I was in for a whole lot more than a simple donation.
Giving blood is not for weenies (because of the needles) and it's not for meanies (because they don't care about saving lives) so I knew I was going to be in good company but I had to remind myself to be on my best behavior; wait for my turn patiently and make small talk with other donors instead of having my nose in my phone or a book, both of which are a challenge for me and my InstaGram loving, ADD self.
I get there, to the Riverside Center in Cashmere, and check in. I'm a minute early and that's good for me, trust me, and if you don't trust me ask anyone who knows me, that's a feat in and of itself. So, there I was proud as puddin' at myself and telling everyone who cared to listen that I was on time. Then I had to do the thing I hate most... wait!
I mentioned that I hate waiting, right? And there I was, stuck, waiting, FOREVER! There was only one thing to do to pass the time... I started pestering the people around me. The closest gentlemen asked for it, he was talking to a volunteer and he said he had given 11 gallons of blood in his life! You might think it was the sheer volume of life giving elixir that impressed me, but you might not know me. I was amazed but it wasn't the volume that got me, it was the amount... 11! Eleven is my favorite number in the world, it also happens to be the birthday of one of the most faithful and God fearing women I've had the honor to meet. And, as of earlier that day 11/11 just so happened to be the planned launch date for “Waiting on Justin.” I felt so lucky to be seated next to Mr. 11. Thankfully the selfie I talked him into taking with me and the story about why he started donating passed enough time to get me to the privacy booth.
I answered my questions, got cleared for donation and was led to my chair at the same time as these lovely ladies who seemed to be making a game of giving blood. One kept asking the technicians how fast her pace was, I didn't know there was a pace in blood giving, but I'm a runner so I was intrigued. The other wanted a blanket on and then off. I couldn't quite figure it out, but it was fun to watch them being so passionate about their donation.I learned later that the fast bleeder was Sandra Mueller and she was in fact making sport of saving lives. Her partner in uncrime is Melissa Campbell, is not to be confused with her mother (although they shared a hilarious story about someone making that assumption once on a particularly bad day Melissa was having). Melissa was the undisputed WINNER of the contest because she took longer to donate and proudly wrote it on her name tag for Sandra, and all of us, to see. I'm still not sure what the exact rules are, but it doesn't matter, the game for me was watching the two of them.
I waited with Sandra, while Melissa continued to bleed out, slowly, the way a winner should. Sandra tried hard not to be bitter, but you could tell... it was there in her eyes, if only her body bled slower, she could have been last in the seat and written winner on her name tag.
Melissa finally finished and sauntered over to the snack table relishing her victory... I think there was applause... I'm pretty sure there was. Sandra promised she would be victor next time and then the two friends sat there at the table drinking juice and badgering each other about their blood giving. They almost had me in tears, it felt like a live Seinfeld show and I had a front seat.
Another donor assured me the Sandra and Melissa show was for real and they did it ever time the blood drive came to the Riverside Center. At that point Sandra chimed in that he was right and if anyone wanted to watch the two woman show admission was minimal, all anyone had to do was give. Give life, give blood and get a laugh with the giving. Who knows? Maybe Sandra can pull off a victory next time.
I don't know if you can make it to Cashmere on October 8th to give blood, but if you can I highly recommend it, the show starts around 4:45PM. My words and little blurb don't do these women justice, they were funny, they were entertaining and they were taking time out, have taken time out month after month of their lives to make the world a better place, both for those who need our blood to live and those who, like me, just want to help.
Melissa, Sandra my humble and heartfelt thanks for your generosity, spunk and willingness to let a strange lady blog about you.
If you want to donate, find a blood drive, save a life and leave a comment to let me know. If you have a funny donation story share it.