Jesus gave me a gift over 2,000 years ago. We celebrate the beginning of the gift Saturday -- by giving gifts to others. Last Thanksgiving Nina and Toby introduced me to a new way to give. It's called Pheresis.
In an apheresis (ay-fur-ee-sis) donation, from the Greek "to take away," donors give only select blood components — platelets, plasma, red cells, infection-fighting white cells called granulocytes, or a combination of these, depending on the donors' blood type and the needs of the community. Apheresis is most commonly used to collect platelets and plasma..... A single apheresis donation of platelets can provide as many platelets as 5 whole blood donations. In addition, a platelet transfusion from a single donor greatly reduces the chances of an immune system reaction to the transfusion. Bone marrow transplant, cancer and leukemia patients whose immune systems are already compromised, benefit particularly from single donor platelet transfusions.
To date, I've given over one gallon (!!) of platelets and blood through this process. Its a little time-consuming, and a bit arduous, but it is worth every minute of discomfort to know that I'm providing a vital gift of life for someone like my friend Helen, who's bravely fought cancer for several years now. Each time I give, I do it in Helen's honor. Even though I know that my platelets will probably go to someone in need in the Carolinas, and not to Helen, who's in Texas.
Nina made an appointment for us and yesterday we both went up into Charlotte and spent a few hours donating our platelets. Soon I hope to find a place in Nashville where I can give as well. I'm not smart enough to cure cancer, but I can at least do something to help. And I found out yesterday that since I'm O-Negative (blood type) I'm needed for more than just platelets... they need my red cells as well. Next time I plan to give both.
Please visit their website, call the number, 1-800-GIVE LIFE, and give the Gift of Life to a cancer patient this holiday season.