Your views: Donate blood, it saves lives
Eight years ago, I received a message that urged recipients with the blood group B to step forward and donate as the supply was running low at the blood bank. I stared at my mobile phone screen and remained apprehensive for a while.
I had turned down fund-raisers who approached me and had also not followed through with my intentions to contribute to a few good causes.
As much as I wanted to make a positive contribution to society and help the needy, the good intentions were undermined by other priorities, a reluctance to inconvenience myself and to make sacrifices.
However, that day was different. I could make a difference in not one but three lives.
Having undergone medic training during my national service days, I have a basic understanding of blood transfusion and its risks. Nevertheless, I have full confidence in the Health Sciences Authority's blood donation system.
In about an hour, I had completed my first donation.
That included answering a questionnaire, undergoing a physical exam and examining my iron level with a finger-prick blood test. The actual blood-drawing process took only 15 minutes.
Watching the nurse handling and storing my blood bag , I got a sense of achievement and gratification, knowing that I had done my part to help improve someone's life.
I then made a lifelong commitment to donate blood for as long my health permits.
Pain and needles did not deter me. It was more about the location of the blood bank and finding time.
To overcome the deterrence, I would apply for leave from work to donate blood.
Fast forward to 2017. I attended the World Blood Donor Day Ceremony at the OCBC Arena last weekend. I have donated 29 times and was awarded a bronze medal.
As with my involvement in other community services, I have never expected any returns. But the medal will help me relate my blood donation story to my girls.
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