It is a cliché but as a woman and as a mother, I have it in my veins. I live to nurture. It is in my blood to help and care about other people.
I have always wanted to donate blood when I was younger but I was always scared of the needles and the mere sight of blood makes me quiver. I tried donating blood twice in the Philippines, one time in a Red Cross centre in Quezon City and another time, I went to Makati Medical Center, but I chickened out in both occasions. Because I am simply freaking scared!
Few months back, I went alone to a Blood Mobile in our community in Tampines. I kept reminding myself that I had to do this. I am not getting any younger and I need to do some heroic act at least once in my life. There is still this haunting fear as I walk the community centre where the blood donation drive was being held but the urge for me to finally do it gave me the courage to line up and sign up.
I was a walk-in donor and I had no record of blood donation in Singapore or elsewhere. Simply put, I was a virgin donor. Of course, I had to submit to routine checks by Red Cross staff and the doctor to check if I am a qualified candidate.
Can You donate blood?
- must be aged between 16 and 60 (Youths aged 16 and 17 will need to complete and bring a signed parental consent form)
- weigh at least 45kg
- in good health
- do not have any symptoms of infection (e.g. sore throat, cough, runny nose, diarrhoea) for at least one week
- did not have fever in the last three weeks
You an also take this online quiz to know if you are eligible for blood donation.
The doctor gave the clearance that I am fit to donate so I was escorted to the blood collection area. I sat down in the bed and let the Red Cross staff do her thing, chitchat with her from time to time while I entertain my eyes to a “bloody” surrounding. It actually made me more calmer seeing other people take this heroic act like a piece of cake.
Next thing I knew, my healthy blood is fast filling up a bag. It did not really hurt at all. Donors were asked to stay a while to rest, have some refreshments, and allowed to leave when they feel comfortable to go. The donation process was quick and systematic.
There was no #needleface but only #happyface from this mom. Right there and there, I knew that would not be the last time that I will donate my blood. This would be a regular thing for me.
After a few weeks, I received my Blood Donation Record card and a thank you card from Red Cross Singapore citing my eligibility to donate for the next quarter.
There are a lot of reasons to donate blood – it save lives during emergencies, it sustain lives of those with medical conditions and it might help out in medical research. Every hour, every day, there is someone out there who might need blood. We simply cannot let fear hinder our way. There really is nothing to be scared about. Take it from me, a once scaredy-cat mama.
Maybe to urged you further to do the same and donate your precious time and blood the next time there is a blood donation drive in your community, watch this short video of a blood’s journey from one vein to another.
To know where is the next Blood Donation Drive in your community or if you want to set an appointment at a Red Cross Blood Bank near you, please click here.