I was struck by a story that Kathy Hastings, Community Blood Bank Mobile Drive Coordinator, told me at the organization’s blood drive on Monday at the Lander Volunteer Fire Department.
Tragedy nearly struck her family when her son was in an accident at the age of 18.
“My son was in a very serious accident. He would have died,” Hastings said. “He needed a lot of blood. That’s when I saw the need. I didn’t understand it before.”
That’s when she decided to change paths, and now she is part of the difference in helping to save lives.
I was inspired.
So instead of just talking to her for a story about the local blood shortage, I decided to donate as well.
It was the second time in my life I have done so, having donated back when I was still in school.
For anyone that might be on the fence about it, don’t be. It’s a quick and relatively painless process.
“It doesn’t hurt, it’s like a little sting,” Hastings said. “It’s quick, it’s easy and it’s like a mini check-up. You can save three lives just by donating. It doesn’t get any better than that.”
And that’s 100 percent the truth. It’s like a quick stop at the doctor’s office. You get your blood pressure and heart rate checked, and if anything abnormal is found in your blood, the folks at CBB will let you know.
And you get to make a real, tangible difference in people’s lives.
“You’re a hero every time you donate,” Hastings said.
With local blood supplies at critical levels, it’s desperately needed.
Hastings told me another story that should scare everyone. Recently a doctor was treating an accident victim and needed two units of blood. The doctor only had one unit available, so that’s what they went with.
And you might not think it will affect you, but what if it’s you or someone you love that needs it?
I encourage you not to wait – donate.
“If you have a family member, friend, a neighbor that’s going in the hospital, it’s coming from us,” Hastings said.
Whether you’re looking to donate or organize a drive of your own, Hastings and the staff at CBB are more than happy to help. They need our help. You can email Hastings at [email protected] or give them a call at 814-456-4206.
“There’s no substitute for blood,” she said.