What’s it Like to Save a Life? I Don’t Think I’ll Ever Know.

Wouldn’t it be crazy if you were given the opportunity to save lives? It seems totally insane when it’s heard, but the thing is, though, I believe every day we already have that choice–it all depends on whether or not we can or want to make time to do so. But what if your own body prevents you from doing so? Presently at my school, I can donate blood and contribute to the dangerous shortage of blood in the medical industry. I am old enough, probably weigh enough and have done blood tests before. So what exactly holds me back?

Can I Save a Life?

I want to explain a personal part of myself that I hope will connect to those who feel as if Mother Nature somehow “messed” up when creating them. I won’t lie, I still have issues accepting my condition to this day. No, I do not have high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, or any contagions that make me seriously toxic. I am a very healthy girl who exercises and eats a lot, but of course on whole, healthy foods like avocados and peaches, mainly anything without a label (though I do have a pretty bad addiction to coconut cashew and strawberry cheesecake Quest bars!). What makes me ineligible to donate blood is my vulnerability towards seizures.

Epilepsy is a disorder in the nervous system where the brain’s nerve activity can be disturbed easily by seizures. It’s the reason why I cannot drink alcohol nor stay up after 11:30 P.M., which sounds very beneficial for gym bunnies and health nuts like me. But because of my disorder I also can’t exercise in the sun nor play in sports. I eventually learned to accept the prescription of two sets of medication twice a day and sitting out on opportunities to run on warm Sunday mornings (sigh) until my desire to donate blood to the American Red Cross was rejected.

Anger ensued. Millions of patients pass away every minute since there is no blood for surgeries. I visualized the sick, the dying. I felt I was being put down because of my physicality, as if I was weak. I resisted fighting back with my parents because they would inevitably win. Because I need a parent’s signature, I really have no chance at the moment.

This story is important for even those of you who don’t have a serious medical condition like I do because you may have undergone at least one moment in your life when you hated your body. Whether you thought it was too big, too thin, too short, too tall, etc. I hated mine because I thought I was weak. I know I’m not and nor are you. Hopefully, when I become older and somehow outgrow a bit of my epilepsy, then I will one day donate blood. And if that day never comes, I will find another way to save lives. If you are old enough, then I really recommend donating blood. It may seem very scary at first, but the feeling afterwards is amazing. Think about it: the physically most unique part of you is being donated to millions of people, becoming part of them. You connect yourself with those people in that way. If more people donated blood, our world will not only become more united, but healthier.

Have you ever donated blood? And if you’ve never donated blood, will you ever think about doing so? Even if you don’t feel it’s for you, I hope you send your prayers to those in need of a second chance for life.

Warmest regards,

Cassie


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