Day Eight (Tuesday September 8th) Scared to give blood
Surely, we all have mornings that we drag ourselves out of bed, faintly remember getting ready for the day and finally find ourselves mindlessly downing coffee just to get through the day. Imagine not being able to shake that feeling. Imagine a relentless fatigue that hangs over you when for your entire life you’ve been this healthy and strong individual with seemingly endless energy.
Meet my cousin Matt; a 24 year old fighter who has been living with a rare blood disorder for over five years now. He has been diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia, a life-threatening blood disorder in which your body no longer produces enough new blood cells so you are fatigued and are at higher risk of infection and uncontrolled bleeding. Immediate hospitalization is necessary for treatment. Treatments include blood transfusions, medications and in severe cases, bone marrow transplantation. Matt has been transfusion dependent for some time now, has been medicated and is now waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
Matt’s life has been turned completely upside down with his blood disorder and yet has continued to take every hurdle in stride. He’s a rarity and reminds me how fortunate I am to even have the option of giving blood. Sad truth is, for me, it took a family member, a cousin I love so dearly and look up to with such admiration who is blood transfusion dependent to realize what a gift I am able to give.
To me, Matt is fearless. Although giving blood is a scary thought, I think of the amount of time Matt has spent in hospitals and the weight he has endured just to stay smiling and well… All it takes for me to give blood is less than a half hour and some juice and cookies! The comparison in itself makes my stomach turn that I would be at all scared to give blood. Sure, needles are scary but the trade off is more than worthy. Give blood and you san save up to three lives.
I realize my cousin never thought he would need blood and yet, here we are. I love you Matt and I give blood for you and for everyone else that never thought they’d need it.
Find out how you can give blood – HERE –
Matt wrote a letter to his local newspaper last year and you can see it – HERE –
Now go face a fear; do something that scares you!