By Kelly Knight, Senior Communications Coordinator – Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta
I had never done it before and always wanted to. My friends had done it and told me how it may hurt a little, but you’ll feel really good about it afterwards. I even tried to do it once, but I was not able to do it. I hope this time would be the time for me.
When a co-worker saw a scheduled blood drive at the University, which is located very close to the House, I knew I was in! I scheduled an appointment along with six of my other victims… I mean, co-workers, and we walked over to the temporary blood clinic. I was a little apprehensive, but for a few of the ladies, this wasn’t their first rodeo. They gave all us rookies the rundown.
It was seriously seamless. The finger prick to check my iron levels hurt a little more than what I was expecting, but the smiling faces of the nurses and volunteers there truly made it a positive experience. After filling out some forms, the lovely nurse Carol took me to a closed off area. She spoke with me about a few personal questions and then had to triple-check that I was even eligible to donate without the possibility of passing out, At that point, I knew I would be disappointed if I couldn’t donate; I’ve come too far not to.
I was given the all-clear and was ready to be hooked up. I laid down, made sure to keep my legs uncrossed, and looked away as the needle went in. That part felt fine. The nurses had Michael Jackson playing in the background, so I was happy as could be.
Seeing the smiling faces of my other co-workers doing the same thing felt pretty neat. Everyone knew why we were there and who we were doing it for. Everyone reclining back had their own story why they were donating – some personal, some for health reasons, others, just because.
After my bag was filled, I moved to the snack station with my co-workers and enjoyed cookies, pop and water. The two volunteers serving us were friendly and kept thanking US for being there. For some of us, we even got a “First Time Donor” pin. I had a feeling right then that it wouldn’t be my last.
Donating for the first time meant I received a blood donor card in the mail a few weeks later. My card came yesterday and I finally know my blood type. O Positive! I am fortunate that I can be a donor to any other person with a positive blood type.
I feel warm, fuzzy and now honestly, a sense of duty. Their tagline is spot-on – it’s in ME to give… so why not? Yes, my first time I was a little nervous and it was a little bit painful. But, you know, I will always remember my first time.