Attempting to put our money where our mouths are

The other day we asked everyone to try to give blood and when we searched for nearby blood drives ourselves we found out the Mets were hosting a blood drive at Citifield, which is a short distance from our home. So bright and early this morning, before going to the hospital, Amy and I headed over there to do our part.

Citifield

Meet the Mets, give some blood

Now, to be honest, I really hate giving blood. The phlebotomists always need to poke me and then dig around with the needle under my skin until they hit gold — not a pleasant experience. But I was doing this to give back after all the blood that Benjamin received, so I was willing to put up with a little pain.

The set up at the ballpark was impressive – it seemed like a triage center and was already busy after only being open for 15 minutes. Amy and I separated and answered the questions to make sure we hadn’t traded money or drugs for sex, caught malaria or ate a lot of British beef in the early 90’s.

Red Cross at the Caesars Club

I warned the Red Cross staff member taking my blood that I was going to be a tough case. She seemed up for it and after some semi-painful poking got some blood flowing into the bag.

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Grit your teeth and think of Benjamin

But then after a bit, more and more nurses kept looking at my hook-up and bag and started poking me again. Eventually I learned I actually have no blood – that I’m a robot or something. Either that or I just have very small veins, veins that got smaller after they made me bruise up. The nurse actually told me “You probably shouldn’t give blood.” The half a unit they got out of me was not usable, unfortunately.

Luckily Amy was able to donate, so the trip wasn’t wasted – although it wasn’t all fun for her either. She didn’t feel so great half-way through and then they didn’t want her to leave “until her color improved.” Amy then had to explain that she is always that color.

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Hooray for Amy!

The Mets gave out goodies that helped to soothe my disappointment – we each got a pair of tickets to an upcoming game, t-shirts and we were entered into a few raffles (even those of us who failed).

Any way – two things: 1. I need someone to give blood as my proxy, pretty much for the rest of my life 2. Everyone else at the blood drive seemed to get through it pretty smoothly, so I think we’re the exception.

So, please go and donate blood!

Ok – one last confession… the real reason we went was to meet Mr Met, because come on, this is exactly the sort of thing he would be at, miming things and getting photos taken with people. No luck though… I bet he probably can’t give blood either, on account of looking so pale all the time.

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Want to help?

People ask a lot about how they could help. And while keeping us in meals and beer and dog walks has been fantastic, there is way that you can help no matter where you are.

Recently micro-preemie support charity Graham’s Foundation posted an article on their facebook page about a mother and her son who both are alive today only because of blood donations. This is just as true for us. Benjamin has received dozens of blood and platelet transfusions in his short life already. There were days when he needed blood every other day for a while. His little body could not keep up with the demand for blood and he would have never made it through even the first week without blood.

Carol too needed a transfusion after Benjamin was delivered after losing so much blood in her efforts to give Ben a fighting chance.

All of this blood comes from folks just like you. It’s hard to imagine the simple act of giving blood has the incredible effect of saving lives. Not just any lives, but often adorable little baby lives.

Donated blood only lasts for 42 days and over the summer there is a drop off in donations so by August many blood banks are running low. This being August 1, it is my request to you to find out where you can donate some blood and do it. Seriously. Go. Now. And tell them Ben sent you.

Also – for any micro-preemie parents reading, as I mentioned above, check out Graham’s Foundation. They are a great resource for information and support run by two parents who started it in memory of their son, Graham. Its mission is to “offer both practical and emotional support to parents of micro-preemie babies.”