Last week I earned my seven gallon pin at Memorial Blood Centers. According to a chart on the wall of the mobile van, that means I’ve helped 168 people. I’m impressed at the way Memorial Blood Centers continues to improve processes. I started donating regularly when they replaced the nasty fingertip slicing device with a tool little punch-type device that doesn’t hurt at all. A few years later, they replaced the hard plastic rod for squeezing with a travel-size plastic bottle filled with warm water. It’s more pleasant to squeeze and, with the warm water plus a warm pillow on my shoulder, it takes about six minutes to give a pint of blood.
There was a time when blood donation had a maximum age. No more. You can keep giving as long as you are healthy. Of course, I know that the odds of staying healthy decrease with age, so I schedule my donations regularly. Just 8 more pints and I get my name on the wall of honor at Memorial Blood Center headquarters!
(Oh, and after you give you’re actually encouraged to eat Lorna Doones!)