How I Started Donating Blood

“Brian! Wake up! It’s a quarter ’til seven!”

All throughout high school, I had the pleasure of having a mother who doubled as my alarm clock. I recall one day – a crisp fall day during my junior year back in 2007 – in particular. Looking back, I fondly reminisce about those “glory days,” you know? Hanging out in the hallways before class with your favorite buds, scoping out all the cutest girls in the morning and occasionally taking it upon myself to make things a little more “interesting,” my time at Lake High School was nothing short of a blast – a contemporary, rock ‘n roll upbringing in middle America.

I was never meant to be a chemist. God bless my former chemistry teacher, Mrs. Duncan, for understanding that too. All the equations involved baffled me and just looking at the Periodic table of Elements would give me a headache (and an even worse case of discouragement). I heard the local blood bank was coming to host a student blood drive at school in the next week. Conveniently enough, it was the week of a very important chemistry test to close out the grading period. Now I’m not saying that I never studied in high school, I just never really studied chemistry. I tactfully coordinated my first-ever blood donation to take place during the time of my test, in turn, buying me a whole extra weekend to attempt to study.

When the day came to give blood, I ended up giving an automated red cell donation. One of the nurses on site explained to me that this type of donation actually had the potential to help and treat more people. From that point on, every time my school held a blood drive, I always participated and gave red cells. It was actually a really enjoyable experience. I don’t remember the pinch of the needle, but I do remember the humongous stack of Oreo wrappers and juice boxes that I left in my wake.

I never really understood the importance of my past actions until I came to Incept. A lot of kids like myself do donate to get out of class for a bit. However, when you finally realize that your donation has the potential to save a human being’s life, it makes it easier to do (without hesitation or required incentives). I can honestly say if it wasn’t for my high school hosting blood drives, I probably never would have donated blood.

At Incept, we also practice what we preach. We are actually having a blood drive tomorrow, and you better believe I’m signed up. I’m always curious how people started donating, so I have to ask:

How did you start donating blood? If you haven’t donated and are physically able, what’s holding you back?