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Be The Match!

29 Feb

As I’ve written about here before I’m a regular blood donor! I started out by donating plain old whole blood. That allowed me to donate a pint of blood every two months or so. Since I was a good bleeder (it’s a talent I swear!) they asked me to do automated donations. Now I regularly (or as regularly as I can with my work schedule) donate platelets using a machine.

From donating I’ve seen signs and received emails about signing up to be a blood marrow donor. I hate to hear stories of people sitting and waiting for a donor and possibly dying without ever getting the help they need, so I decided to sign up! I started out by going to I read the information and decided I should sign up.

I filled out the information and checked all the boxes and sure enough less than a week later I got this in the mail:

There it is!

So I opened it up and read all the contents….here are some of them:

Standard welcome letter and information

And there’s more:

This is the interesting stuff!

On the left their are four sealed swabs for me to use and a foam holder to hold and send them back.

So I followed the instructions and swabbed my mouth four times, tagged them with my unique id sticker and placed them in the holder.


So there they are! Four swabs with my spit and cells from inside my mouth. If this falls into the wrong hands someone could create a new me!!! For some reason I picture him looking like Tom Hardy…Trekkies may understand why…

Off it goes!

So I sealed it all up and sent it off to Minnesota. Interesting that my DNA is heading off to Minnesota as most of my relatives are from Minnesota!

Do I know if I’ll match? No, but if I do I might be able to help save a life. Since I don’t have any important talents like a surgeon this is a small way that I can really save a life! I know not everyone likes blood or needles (they don’t bother me at all) but I recommend everyone take a look at and give it a thought. You might Be The Match for someone!

Have you bled today?

21 May

Today I donated blood. I try to donate blood as often as possible (once every 2 months for a normal donation) and I encourage everyone who reads this to do the same! You never know when you are going to be in an accident, or need surgery and how valuable that blood could be for you!

Donating blood is actually good for your health!! And ladies, want to lose a pound fast!! Donate a pint of blood!!!!

Today was my first experience with the Alyx machine. As you can read in that link, this machine facilitates what is called a “double red” donation. This means that the machine takes an entire pint of red blood cells and returns the plasma back in to the blood stream. It does it all through ONE needle!! It’s actually really cool to watch and hopefully it will allow my blood to help a few people in need!

Funny part of my day started when “Dee” had to ask me my weight and height to make sure I “qualified” for the Alyx machine. I find this hilarious now because I read online that the requirement for men is 5’1 and 130 pounds!! I’m about a foot taller than that and I think my right leg weighs 130!!

Second funny part was when they were unable to fill the 5 test tubes (used to test your blood for HIV and other diseases) because my blood had clotted the connector. If they were unable to fill the tubes, my blood would be a waste!! After much whispering the “team leader” went behind a small divider and started working on it. I don’t know what she did, but I know that she got the tubes filled, but also spilt a good amount of my blood and had to clean it up.

I’m glad my donation wasn’t a waste!