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Zer Netmouse
October 8th, 2008
08:13 am


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Call for Sacrifice simple: give blood, bone marrow, donate organs and tissues
Last night I went to the local red cross office and gave blood with a friend of mine, and then we picked up takeout for dinner and sat and watched the presidential debate. This morning I wrote the following to the Obama campaign:

Dear Senator Obama,

When you were asked at the town hall debate last night what sacrifice you would ask of the American People, there was an answer you could have given that would benefit millions of people, and cost those who are giving very little. You could have asked people to give blood, to sign up with the bone marrow donation service, and sign up to donate tissue and organs in the case of their death.

It's not too late. I encourage you to spend some small fraction of your funds and time on a targeted ad or at the very least press release or stump speech. If you join up with the American red cross, the gift of life foundation, and the national transplant society, it might not even cost you anything to be part of a national ad campaign. Bone marrow donation by minorities is particularly needed; you would be the perfect candidate to speak to this issue. The question of sacrifice and giving has been raised, take advantage of the opportunity to give an answer that will benefit millions of Americans.

Here is what you could say:

At the town hall this week I was asked what the American people should sacrifice to help our country through the coming crisis and tough times. I didn't mention it then, but there is something many of you can do right now, and if everyone who is able to do this pulls together, it will rescue millions of Americans who need what only you can give.

Give blood.

Give the gift of life. It will not hurt your own health and it will only take a little of your time.

We are facing a national economic crisis in our banks, but we are also facing a national shortage in our blood banks. The blood shortage is a crisis nearly everyone can do something about. After 9/11 people answered the call by flocking to hospitals and Red Cross offices to donate. I am asking all of those people to donate again, and to keep donating regularly, 4 times a year, every year; to adopt a pattern of ongoing service.

In addition to giving blood, I'm asking all Americans to go to www.marrow.org to see if you're eligible to safely donate bone marrow, to save people faced by debilitating diseases like luekemia. And to visit www.organdonor.gov to find out about donating organs and tissues in the case of your death. For a successful transplant, the tissue type of a donor or needs to match the patient's as closely as possible. Tissue types are inherited, so patients are more likely to match someone with the same racial heritage. Minorities are particularly needed as donors so that the transplant pool is as diverse as possible.

If you can give of yourself in this most direct way, please, do it now. Your country needs you.


(9 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2008 01:28 pm (UTC)
I gave blood a few times. When I was in the military it was a regular thing (during Vietnam). Then when I moved to where I live now, a very rural area, there was need so I again volunteered. They looked really concerned after the first time and they seemed to hover around me. The second time, as I was sitting there eating my FREE cookie and drinking my OJ, the person in charge came over and sat down.
She said, "How are you feeling?"
I sez "Fine. Why?"
She sez - you're as white as a bleached sheet. Listen - you make us really nervous. Would you mind not giving blood any more?"
So now I don't. (I apparently have a sensitive vasovagal response?)

I've never thought of myself as a scary person before - but I guess that's what I am. Feel the POWER! I can scare a whole room full of RNs!!! ;-D
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2008 02:31 pm (UTC)
Be sure to send the same letter to McCain, too. Neither candidate mentioned it when asked the same question.

Nice, though.
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2008 03:05 pm (UTC)
Does McLame HAVE spare blood? He looks kinda withered... But then Sarah P looks plump & juicy. Maybe she could give hers and then some for him? And Biden is fulla something, but I'm not quite sure what yet. (I have my suspicions - but can't prove it.)
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
hmm... though I am less enthusiastic about the idea of having McCain use *my* words in a campaign that I think would make whichever candidate that does it look good, after some consideration of your suggestion I went ahead and submitted a very similar letter to the other side.

(the main difference being a callback to McCain's own reference to American blood as being our most precious asset)
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2008 03:06 pm (UTC)
This is an awesome letter. I'm proud to know you!

Wish I could donate, but I have a tattoo and they frown on that.
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2008 03:57 pm (UTC)
Only if it's done in the last 12 months and from an unregulated tattoo parlor. Here's the paragraph on it from their donor eligibility requirements:

Wait 12 months after a tattoo if the tattoo was applied in a state that does not regulate tattoo facilities. This requirement is related to concerns about hepatitis. Learn more about hepatitis and blood donation.

Acceptable if the tattoo was applied by a state-regulated entity using sterile needles and ink that is not reused. There are 32 states that currently regulate tattoo facilities. You should discuss your particular situation with the health historian at the time of donation.

I bet you probably could donate, if not now then next year. When did you get your tattoo?
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2008 04:06 pm (UTC)
I've had it over a year now. Looks like I'm eligible to donate if you only need to wait 12 months. Terrific!
[User Picture]
Date:October 8th, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
I am going to try again to donate soon. I wear proudly the scars on the back of my left hand from the 16g needles they used for apheresis (platelet donation). Then my iron went all to hell. I can get it high enough, but I got so nervous about it last time, my pulse was too high. :)

I'm a long-time donor, though, and used to volunteer with Blood Services, Coastal Carolina chapter. And I'm registered with the National Bone Marrow Registry. And I agree. Coming from one of the current most prominent public figures might have a huge impact.

Do you think this will impact the economy in any way? I'm trying to put my thoughts into words, but they won't come out right.

Anyway, prolly more than you needed to know about me and my history, but I'm loquacious today, and glad you wrote this. :)

[User Picture]
Date:October 9th, 2008 04:42 pm (UTC)
What a very nice letter.

I, too, have given blood many times, although unfortunately, most of them unsuccessfully due to fainting spells. As I sat at the recovery table drinking juice after my last failed attempt, the Red Cross volunteer suggested that I find another way to "give back." This was disappointing to me because I completely support the Red Cross, and understand that not nearly enough people give blood to meet the need. More recently, it broke my heart to turn down the Red Cross rep who called me the other day because they needed more of my blood type.

I will find my own way to make a sacrifice eventually, but I encourage more people to give blood, if they are able.
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