Give blood, the gift of life

Hip, hip, hooray! The Blood Bank is back again!

Right. Blood. It should always be available and accessible to those who need it, especially during these hard times with the COVID-19 coronavirus. The blood, the plasma, and the whole blood itself. Blood is needed now and surely not later, when it becomes too late. And to accomplish this, we must all go out and donate.

To see the Blood Bank (of Hawai‘i) here on Aug. 25, 26 and 27 was a good sight and a happy one. They’ve been gone too long, and finally they were here again.

I was told that the three days the Blood Bank were here were full, but for some, they were able to take in some walk-ins. Saw Mayor Kawakami there on the first day, the many century donors like Leslie Newell, an ex-school teacher who donates so religiously and has donated over 100-plus pints and is known as Kaua‘i’s top female donor.

Me, well, I really don’t want to brag, but just to show a lot of people here on Kaua‘i that you really could make a difference, I guess I will brag. I am proud to be a giver, and I am certainly honored that the Blood Bank would take my blood.

Thus far, I have donated mere 206 pints of blood. And there were many others known Super Donors, over 56 pints, and the Century Donors, who donated over 100 pints. What was more exciting and very chicken-skin-like were the ones who came to give for the first time. God bless you all.

Although the Blood Bank I believe met their quota, and possibly more, with the 72,100 people living on this beautiful island of Kaua‘i, the Blood Bank’s expectations and hopes were very appreciated. But honestly, they need more, and they will always be needing the blood.

The blood donations are a reality and a certainty that will help those who are stricken with cancer, for accidents and trauma patients, for those just needing transfusions for blood diseases, and for those who would need it for whatever the reasons may be. To add another, the coronavirus.

I am sure that everyone knows that blood cannot be manufactured, but could only be available by a person’s desire to help the others through donations. To believe and to think that THE OTHER PERSON will give, and therefore, I don’t have to give, is really a selfish and an unacceptable way of thinking, and not the mentality of a reasonable and a concerned person.

Why wait until something drastic happens before deciding to give then? The blood you were contemplating to give, but did not, could and would have been the one that would have been used to probably save someone dear to you, someone you loved and someone you cared for.

Think about it. If this happened to a member of your family, and because you’ve hesitated so many times to give, it could be a regretable situation, and could and would be too late and, perhaps, too sad and too costly. Do it now while the timing is great.

I have heard people telling me why they can’t and won’t donate, which I found to be rather silly and ridiculous. They are afraid of the needle, they work, don’t have the time, am too old, and a lot of other unacceptable reasons. Too old? Well, I am 81 years old and I still give. The needle? I found that the smaller, skinny needle used for the flu shot is sorer and painful than the big needle used to draw the blood. Work? I do, too, and yet I still find the time and day to schedule an appointment to give blood.

If you have the time to rush to the 7-Eleven store to buy a pack of cigarettes, which you shouldn’t do, or for coffee, pastry, or whatevers, you certainly have the time to go to the blood drive that comes to Kaua‘i every two months. Excuses? Phooey! That’s hogwash! One day, you will really need it, or someone close will need it, and you’d certainly be to sorry then. Believe me.

How long does it take to donate JUST a pint of blood? From the onset of history-taking and until you are done, it takes only an hour. Just an hour! How bad is that?

When you give, believe me, you’ll feel really good afterwards, because you realized that what you just did saved three lives. Three lives. Imagine that. It could mean life or death for one or some of your family members. And to think, after donating, you’ll be able to have a snack to eat and drink something people have donated for the drive.

I don’t work for the Blood Bank of Hawai‘i, but I know that as long as I am healthy and capable of giving blood, I give. I know my body will always replenish and replace the pint that was drawn so I can give again in the next two months. I know for a fact that people will always need it, and so why not just give? An advocate for the BBH? No. Just knowing the importance of BLOOD, I give. And why not?

The Blood Bank of Hawai‘i’s next drive will be sometime in October, if God’s willing. So what’s my point and why am I talking about it now? Simple. It is my plea to you so you could plan your day and call 1-800-372-9966 and donate. Don’t wait till the last minute to decide to give then. It could be too late and too bad. So how’s about it? Give, and tell yourself you’re doing it for a cause or, would you rather just let THE OTHER person do it for you? I am not working for the Blood Bank, but I feel the need to express why blood is important.

Really, this is my hope to all of you to help those who really could use and are very in need for this wonderful thing they call THE GIFT OF LIFE, BLOOD.

What a wonderful Labor Day, or Halloween, or Thanksgiving or even Christmas present this would be for a lot of people.

I know it’s really too early, but have a safe and Merry Christmas and a perfect and healthy New Year. Wear the mask, follow the guidelines, really think of the next person. The flu season is here, too. God bless.


Ray Domingo is a resident of Lihu‘e.


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