I can score item number 5 off my 101 in 1001 list. Yesterday, I gave blood, which was one of things I was most scared and apprehensive about due to a fear of needles. I booked an appointment when I created the list, and before I knew it the day was here.
I decided to donate blood after losing both my Gran and my brother’s godmother Elaine to cancer in the space of a year. Both ladies had been massive influences on me in different aspects of my life. Gran taught me how to make shortbread, soup and the importance of being well dressed complete with lipstick and pearls. My favourite piece of jewellery is a string of pearls which I inherited from her. Elaine, was a Maths teacher and encouraged me to go into engineering, and point blankly sat me down and told me to do it when I started thinking of doing a different degree. Without her I would not have achieved my BEng or have obtained my graduate job.
Walking onto the blood bus, in the middle of a severe rain downpour was not ideal and did not help my nerves. I was a wreck, and was quietly hoping they would turn me away for my constant sneezing. After discussing my questionnaire with a nurse, and a blood prick to check my iron levels, I was good to go. After a long wait for a bed to be free, I was eventually called. 20 minutes later, and a semi-hysterical fit after having the needle placed in my arm I had donated a pint of blood. It felt really good and I am glad I did it and gave back. Thanks to other people’s donations both Gran and Elaine had successful blood transfusions, hopefully my blood will help someone else.
Despite being 21, I still cuddled my stuffed animal for the whole thing, rather unashamedly.
I have booked to donate again in June, and would encourage you to if you can. For more information if you live in the UK, visit Give Blood.