I was out of work, doing nothing but passing time when I came across an advertisement where you could apply as a volunteer in Blood Donation camp. Long back when I was in college I tried to donate blood but due to underweight I was not able to and after that it never occurred me to donate again so, the ad caught my attention. I dialed in the numbers and volunteered for it. Since, I was not working I also volunteered to give a hand for setting up the camp also.
It was fun volunteering for it, this blood donation camp sets up quarterly so, once in four months I used to go out meet new and old donors, it was a sort of picnic for me till one day a teenage girl came up to in the camp and asked “Hi, how are you?”
“I am okay, thanks, how are you? Are you here for the blood donation, do you have an appointment?” I replied.
“I would love to but I have a question?”
“Yes sure, happy to help, what is it?” I said.
“Umm, I am suffering from hemolytic anemia, so just wanted to know if there is an arrangement in the camp for Plasma donors?”
To be frank I could not even catch what was she suffering from but I was sure I heard Anemia, though being a layman in biology at least I knew Anemia had to do something with deficiency of blood or hemoglobin in a person. Why the hell she wanted to donate blood if she is anemic and what the hell was plasma donation! I revised all my biology classes in a gist just not to make a fool of myself there but still said
“I am sorry, I did not get your question, you are suffering from what?”
“I am suffering from Hemolytic anemia, in my condition my bone marrow is unable to produce the red blood cells in the body fast enough to meet my body needs. It is a disorder where the red blood cells are destroyed before their normal life span and since, RBCs are responsible for carrying oxygen and when I do not have enough RBCs in my blood it can be fatal”
“Oh okay… I am sorry, but clearly you need blood in your body then why do you want to make a donation?” I was so confused.
She smiled and replied “I just want to donate the Plasma. You know, it is because of people like you I am able to stand here, I laugh, I cry, I walk, I talk and everything thing I do is a gift from people like you all who donate blood. In every 120 days I undergo blood transfusion where blood is given to me through intravenous(IV) line in one of my blood vessels. I am so grateful for all of you to be alive and I also want to participate in Saving Lives. I want to donate plasma so that if there is someone like me who needs transfusion of Plasma I can repay to this society for giving me so many new lives.”
I was speechless, I had never taken Blood donation seriously, for me it was just a day of fun, meeting people, laughing with others eating free ice cream. For a moment I felt ashamed of myself for not donating blood for years. I was guilty for the number of lives lost due to lack of blood in the blood bank and here I was standing before a person who is sick and still willing to help others in need.