Why I Donate Blood

Today’s post comes from Brian Kost, Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) and Blood Donor…

Blood, needles, doctors, nurses, injury, surgery, emergency, accident… Any or all of these for any of a number of people can (and for the most part, do) have a negative connotation. Those who have had their own personal experiences with these things can easily recall heartrending moments in which something unfortunate happened to a friend, acquaintance or family member.

Yet, what about those whose calling in life is to deal with that very list on a daily basis? These individuals might include firefighters, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), hospital employees and police officers? Each of these people see firsthand the bittersweet mixture of tragedy and triumph. These same people are the most familiar with the tools needed to see the triumph through the tragedy.

Simply put, there are only three tools needed:

  1. The willingness to help
  2. Time
  3. Knowledge

Perhaps I should back up for a moment and give some personal background. My name is Brian Kost, a Conversational Marketing Expert (CME) here at Incept. My father was an EMT/firefighter before I was even a thought in his mind and now is the lieutenant at the same station back home. My hometown is a very small community, so the fire department was effectively an extended family to all of us. And as often happens within families, children grew up taking on the values of the family as their own.

Add to that bit of background the fact that, while going through grade school, my mother was also going to school and achieved her degree in registered nursing. Soon after her graduation, she was working full time as a registered nurse (RN) at one of the local hospitals. Now, considering the amount of schooling and continuing education (CE) required for those who work in Emergency Response or Nursing, there was always a vast array of textbooks, manuals and literature around our house regarding the care of the human body. With that much information always lying about, coupled with my voracious appetite for reading,

I was able to get a closer glimpse into the lives my parents led and the tools they needed to do their respective jobs.

Later in my life, I was able to do some work at a local hospital, assisting with the registration of emergency room (ER) patients. Since I worked the late-night shift, and our hospital was a Level 1 Trauma Center, all manner of untold stories either walked or got wheeled into our doors – each one needing desperate help. The faster and more efficiently I was able to do my job, the faster and more effective the medical staff could be at assisting those in need. Now, do not get me wrong. A slip of paper or form will not slow down whether or not someone is going to get assistance in a time of need; however, if that person has perhaps been a patient of that hospital before, then having that information handy can speed up access to everything from emergency contact information to blood type.

This brings us full circle. The phrase often used, yet still true is, “Blood, there is no substitute.” I’ve seen firsthand medical professionals worry about the local blood supply. I’ve seen firsthand the tears of joy of complete strangers who have reason to rejoice due to someone else giving blood. Both of these are moments that just sear themselves to your soul.

With Incept being a blood donor recruiter center, this is not just simply “what we do.” This is “what we do well.” We are not a business filled with doctors and emergency technicians; we are a business filled with mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, students and veterans, men and women. However, not being trained health care professionals does not diminish our role in the process of helping others see triumph through the tragedy. We’re the ones who help make sure that when the doctor needs something – be it red blood cells, platelets or whole blood itself – that it is there. We are the ones who assist in recruiting the select few (less than 10% of all those who are eligible to donate actually do) who give of themselves to help save others.

It is the combination of this very same professional goal and my personal background that tell the tale of why I donate blood. Not only do I spend my working hours finding people who have that willingness to help, I also show through my own actions and spend my own time and energy helping others – being a piece of that grand symphony of motion that saves lives. I have the opportunity to help give people the knowledge of both the need for blood and where they can go to help others, facilitating their process by finding that combination of donation location and time which best fits their own personal life and world. I have the opportunity to follow my own words with action.

I am not my father, who gives of himself to save others from either fire or accident.

I am not my mother, who gives of herself to help heal others.

I am Brian, a CME, a blood donor, a life saver.