Okay, this not strictly about Boomers, but just think: this could be your daughter or your sister or your friend! An urgent plea on from my millennial daughter who cares deeply about her friend:
A few of you may have heard me talk about a friend of mine who was recently diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). In a nutshell, this terminal disease (for which there is no cure) causes scar tissue to grow inside my friend’s lungs, making it difficult for her to breathe. It also makes it difficult for oxygen to move through tiny air sacs into her bloodstream, which her other organs desperately need.
She currently has 38% lung capacity and travels everywhere with an oxygen tank she calls Thomas (the Tank).
She’s TWENTY-NINE years old.
To say her world has become a lot smaller and her life a lot more challenging is a huge understatement.
Currently, my friend is in desperate need of packed red blood cells as her hemoglobin levels are rapidly declining because of her IPF. Hemoglobin is the protein molecule in red blood cells that carries oxygen from the lungs to the body’s tissues and returns carbon dioxide from the tissues back to the lungs – and YES, I had to Google that. #EnglishMajor
Unfortunately, my friend is not able to access blood because the supply is critically low and – unsurprisingly – literally thousands of other Canadians need blood every day. As an example, another friend of mine gave birth to her third child in February, but the delivery was extremely complicated and she nearly died. Blood platelets and blood products from more than 45 (!!!!!!!!!) donors are the reason she is alive today.
With the long weekend approaching, I don’t doubt that the number of people who need blood will increase due to car accidents and other tragic events that always seem to cluster around holidays. Canadian Blood Services is projecting a need for 60,000 blood donors by July 1 to meet the demand.
If you are in good health and able to give blood this week, next week, or really any time, I encourage you to do it! You never know whose life you could be saving.
Personally, I’ve taken it for granted that “other people” donate blood and that my friends and family will be magically exempt from this need. I’m embarrassed to admit that it’s taken 10 years (since donating in high school) and a friend’s illness to fully realise that I can play a role in saving other people’s lives.
If you read all the way to the end of this email, thank you. If you donate blood already, thank you. If you decide to donate because of this message, thank you. Even if you decide not to or can’t donate, for whatever reason, I’m sending you this email because I think you’re awesome, and I’m thankful to know you.
You can find out more information about donating blood at www.blood.ca Please also encourage your friends and family to donate.
Blood: it’s in YOU to GIVE!