I donate blood. I do it every time the Red Cross calls, which is usually as soon I’m eligible again (56 days I think, 8 weeks), which means well after I’ve regenerated all my plasma and red blood cells. Why do I do it? Well, something like 5% of people donate, and if we were at 10% we (theoretically) wouldn’t face blood shortages. And 1 in 3 people are eligible to donate (if you aren’t eligible, hey you tried. but most people don’t even know). Trying to help bridge that gap I guess.
Sure, I could talk about my overactive imagination and how around the world we face constant blood shortages due to lack of donors. How there’s some 6 year old kid being wheeled into an emergency room, fresh out of a car wreck, covered in lacerations and clutching a blood-soaked teddy bear. Sorry kid, you gonna die because Clint’s too busy watching reruns of Metalocalypse to have gone to the clinic. Or he doesn’t care for needles. Or some other sorry excuse. Naw, I can’t do that.
But I also do it for the most self-indulgent of reasons: my own health. And I’m not even talking about how it’s more likely than not I’ll need a transfusion at some point in my life. Though I live what I consider to be a fairly healthy lifestyle, I indulge on occasion. And even at 100% healthy intake, the body isn’t 100% efficient. There are wastes. There’s dirt. There’s wear and tear. Processes break down and are imperfect. So I get rid of that stanky old blood and make myself some fresh, clean, new and shiny blood to replace it. So some cancer patient or burn victim gets my hand-me-down blood, fine. Go team. But what it means for me is freshly-squeezed handcrafted blood in the tank.
Plus, every blood donation center I’ve seen has free snacks and juice. And I donate at the Red Cross, and those guys have Nutter Butters on hand. If donating blood ain’t reason for a little cheat snack, I don’t know what is.