Monday, June 14, 2010

Celebrating the gift of blood

Today, June 14th, is World Blood Donor Day

Please give blood if you can.

The photograph is of Janet Frame receiving one of the regular blood transfusions that improved the quality of her life, and gifted her perhaps a few more months to say goodbye to her loved ones, after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. During the many day-long transfusions she received at the oncology centre of Dunedin Hosipital, she liked to read, and talk, and think and dream. She used to wonder about the individuals who had been so generous as to donate their blood, the blood which tangibly restored her strength as it dripped slowly into her veins. She only knew from the label on the pack of blood, which city or town it had been collected in. She was always grateful to every person whose blood or platelets were giving her a much needed boost as the quality of her own blood deteriorated.

Such a simple but heroic, life-giving gift.


BRENTON said...

Sad that homosexual people like myself in a monogamous relationship are discrimated agains giving blood!

Pamela Gordon said...

Didn't know about that, Brenton. I'm also excluded because I lived in Asia too recently, although I don't know exactly what the "danger" is supposed to be. Also I inderstand that anyone who lived in UK during the mad cow years is excluded.

It's a shame there can't be some kind of "warrant of fitness" for people who want to donate. Meanwhile the rest of us must rely on the generosity of the heterosexual stay-at-homes...