I never thought I would be able to give blood.

I never thought I would be able to give blood.

I have had to take medication for an inherited medical condition since I was in my 20s.

I thought no one would possibly want my blood.

I was wrong. I donated for the first time in 2012.

“In almost all cases, medications will not disqualify you as a blood donor. Your eligibility will be based on the reason that the medication was prescribed. As long as the condition is under control and you are healthy, blood donation is usually permitted,” according to the Red Cross’ website.

There are 13 specific medications that the Red Cross lists that could affect your ability to donate blood.
In addition, donors with diabetes who since 1980, ever used bovine (beef) insulin made from cattle from the United Kingdom are not eligible to donate. This requirement is related to concerns about variant CJD, or ‘mad cow’ disease, the Red Cross website said.

A complete list of eligibility requirements can be found at www.redcrossblood.org.

Blood donation saves lives. Although I have never needed a blood transfusion, my mother had to have blood during open heart surgery several years ago. Someone gave blood for her, and now I can give to others.

Every time you donate blood, you can save a life.

Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.

More than 44,000 blood donations are needed every day.

Do you know someone who has or did have cancer? More than 1 million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment.
Have you ever know anyone who was in an injury car accident? A single serious car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

It may seem silly, but I was truly excited the first time I gave blood.

I have always believed in service to others, and this was a gift I thought I never would be able to give.
I was admittedly nervous. I thought they might turn me down at the last minute. I thought I might pass out or they might not be able to find a vein.

Unfortunately, a lot of these fears kept me from donating blood for years. None of my fears were realized. My first donation went swimmingly well.

The phlebotomist was very patient and kind. The actual blood donation portion of the process took less than 15 minutes.

Not everyone can donate and not everyone has a an easy donation every time.

However, donating blood made me feel really good.

Give the gift of life. Sign up to be a blood donor today.

Cristina Janney is the managing editor of The McPherson Sentinel. She can be reached at cristina.janney@mcphersonsentinel.com or follow her on Twitter @macsentinel.