Tis the sea­son for giv­ing life

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - Melissa Jenk­ins Melissa Jenk­ins is a re­porter/pho­tog­ra­pher with The Com­pass news­pa­per in Trin­ity-Con­cep­tion-Pla­cen­tia. She can be reached at Melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc.

At 9:30 a.m. Fri­day I re­ceived a phone call from Cana­dian Blood Ser­vices ask­ing me to make an ap­point­ment to do­nate blood.

I thought it was weird to get that call at work. But I re­mem­bered that ev­ery year around this time there is a dire need for blood. To reach out to me at the of­fice showed me they needed to find donors.

Many prob­a­bly don’t know, but I used to work in the clinic at Cana­dian Blood Ser­vices in St. John’s. I was re­spon­si­ble for test­ing haemoglobin and col­lect­ing blood sam­ples, among other things. I have seen the empty ap­point­ment books, the for­got­ten ap­point­ments and the num­ber of peo­ple that have been turned away for a mul­ti­tude of rea­sons. And that was in the sum­mer.

Some­times peo­ple get caught up in the hustle and bus­tle of the Christ­mas shop­ping rush. Some even spend plenty of time vol­un­teer­ing or col­lect­ing for less for­tu­nate peo­ple, which is great.

But if you get a sec­ond among the chaos, stop and thing about do­nat­ing blood.

Tra­di­tion­ally pub­lic

ser­vice an­nounce­ments go on the ra­dio and tele­vi­sion dur­ing the hol­i­days about drink­ing and driv­ing, and for good rea­son. Christ­mas and New Years have been rec­og­nized as a time of year where there is plenty of al­co­hol. Some­times this leads to more im­paired driv­ers and more car ac­ci­dents. The weather of­ten af­fects things too. Slip­pery roads in­creases the like­li­hood of more car crashes.

Did you know that one car accident vic­tim could need up to 50 units of blood? So 50 donors could be needed to save that one vic­tim. This doesn’t in­clude those re­ceiv­ing blood for can­cer treat­ment, surgery or other med­i­cal is­sues.

I am a blood donor. Un­for­tu­nately, I can’t do­nate at this time. But I am en­cour­ag­ing those who can to try.

I was also a blood re­cip­i­ent when I was 13 years old. I had five trans­fu­sions and would have died with­out them. I didn’t know my donors, but they saved my life.

If you’re look­ing to give a great Christ­mas present to some­one, why not give an hour of your time to do­nate blood. It doesn’t cost a cent and you get free cook­ies and a juice box af­ter­wards.

This Christ­mas sea­son, if you are able and will­ing, please give the gift of blood. You never know, you could be saving the life of some­one you love.

For more in­for­ma­tion visit blood.ca or call 1-888-2-DO­NATE.

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