Thank you to everyone who quietly gives their blood anonymously, just because they want to help people they will never meet. I am that stranger that you donated to help, and two of you have saved my life.
Dear blood donors. If I could give you all a hug I would. Without you, I wouldn’t be here.
I had a cancer called Colin in my colon. I’m pretty much the colour of a vampire under normal circumstances, so no-one realised what was going on. What gave Colin away was the big black lines under my eyes, the bone-crunching tiredness and the black outs. When they got to six or seven times a day I realised it wasn’t the menopause and I probably needed help.
Colin had such a voracious appetite for my blood that I pretty much didn’t have any when I was tested for anaemia. My blood levels were so low that the GP rang me as soon as she saw the results and urged me to go to hospital for a transfusion.
I made it as far as the hospital reception and collapsed. Now that wasn’t a bad experience for me because I had a lovely psychedic dream of being on a beach in technicolour. I was most annoyed when the inconsiderate doctor brought me round and muttered that it’s a wonder I hadn’t had a heart attack because my blood pressure had dropped so low. I had a serious risk of stroke or heart attack and couldn’t even had surgery because I didn’t have enough blood.
But this is where you Mr or Ms Anonymous Blood Donor came in. The doctors gave me two units of blood that you had given, without knowing to who or why. I must be honest, accepting your blood was both scary and humbling in equal measure. Scary because the idea of a stranger’s blood inside your body is a weird experience; humbling because of the huge gratitude I have for your gift.
Because of you, I’d didn’t have a heart attack or stroke and my surgeon could now operate. Because of you, I pulled through.
Thank you for taking the time and the trouble – when I know your life is busy and donating is inconvenient, time when you could be doing something else (something far more fun!). Thank you for putting up with the discomfort of the needle and perhaps feeling tired afterwards. Thank you for caring enough to help me and the many others who are alive today because of your kindness.
Please keep giving, because your gift gave me and hundreds of thousands of others a future that cancer had taken away from us. I can never thank you enough for what you have done for me and my family, but please know that I shall always be grateful.