Life Blood

12 Jan

What can I do?

This has been the question plaguing me for the last few days, while friend and fellow writer Amy sits at her critically ill baby’s bedside, waiting, hoping and praying.  I have been doing my best to send out an ever-expanding circle of positive energy to Amy, and to the baby, David.  I have tried to let Amy know – hopefully Amy does know – that I am with her in spirit, waiting and hoping and praying with her. I have been giving my own kids lots of extra hugs, letting them stay up past their bedtime just so that I could have an extra fifteen minutes with them, not getting so het up over silly things that prior to learning about the severity of David’s illness, would have had my knickers in a twist.

All of this is important.  I believe that the positive thoughts and the shifts in focus and the offers of support do at least let the intended recipient know that they are being thought of, that they are not alone.  But it doesn’t seem enough.  I have found myself wishing, longing to do something practical to help make this journey even a little bit easier for Amy to bear.

What can I do?

The obvious problem is that Amy and I live in different countries.  If I lived in Ohio, I would be able to do stuff.  I could cook meals for Amy’s family.  I could take her laundry away and bring her fresh changes of clothing.  I could bring books to read to Captain Snuggles. I could offer to babysit her kids so that she could get time with her husband.  The list of what I could do if I were there goes on and on.  But the fact remains that I live in Toronto and Amy lives in Ohio.

What can I do?

Realistically, my ability to help Amy in any practical sense is severely limited.  But this morning, I thought of something I can do that could potentially help other people in her situation, in David’s situation.

Over the last few days, Captain Snuggles has had multiple blood transfusions.  His mother has watched desperately as his life blood has flowed out of him faster than it can be replaced.  Without the transfusions he has received so far, it is extremely likely that David would not still be with us.

That blood has to come from somewhere.  I have plenty of what I assume is perfectly good blood: there is no reason for me to not give it to someone whose life might well depend on it.

The last time I donated blood, it did not go well.  But that was twenty years ago, and due to extremely stressful events that were happening in my life at the time, my health had taken a hammering.  Now my health is fine, and I feel inspired to give it another go.  There is a blood donor clinic at my place of work next week, and I have made my appointment to be a part of it.  For the next week, I will be eating lots of healthy stuff and doing what I can to make sure my blood is whole and healthy.

Maybe this small act will save someone’s life.  Maybe it will bring some family back from the brink of despair.  Maybe it will give someone hope.

Amy, if you are reading this, I really wish I could do something that would help you directly.  But please know that my decision to donate blood is inspired by you and your beautiful boy.  Even though he will not physically benefit, I am doing this for Captain Snuggles.

(Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License)

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7 Responses to “Life Blood”

  1. Margie January 12, 2011 at 11:11 AM #

    You are a good friend! I wanted to donate blood after Elijah died but just can’t do it.

    Margie

    • runningforautism January 12, 2011 at 11:17 AM #

      I really, really hope my blood will be OK. I cannot think of any reason why it wouldn’t be. Since I am healthy, and since there are people like David going through so much medical crap, this really seems like the least I can do.

  2. transplantedx3 January 12, 2011 at 11:43 AM #

    Kirsten,

    I read everything you write and I am honored, honored by all that you say and do. I have been donating blood myself while I’ve been here, it’s definitely a way to help. Thank you – I hope it goes well for you and thank you for keeping us close to your heart. I’ve said before, you’re going to make me get my passport in order and make the trip north, just so I can give you a hug in person!
    Hugs to you and the boys~
    ~Amy
    ps – I’ve been thinking on your question about charities and I’m working on a list of various charities that people might be interested in, if they are so inclined to do so.

    • runningforautism January 12, 2011 at 10:22 PM #

      Amy, I really look forward to you taking that trip. And maybe, if the Universe hears all of our prayers, you can bring a certain Captain with you!

  3. Lisa January 12, 2011 at 7:16 PM #

    Thank you. My husband was in hospital last year & received around 40 transfusions. I used to donate regularly and plan to again as soon as I’m able to. His experience made me realize how big a difference it really can make for someone.

    • runningforautism January 12, 2011 at 10:24 PM #

      Lisa, that must have been so frightening for you and your husband, and once again it highlights the importance of blood donation.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Today is a GREAT Day! | transplanted thoughts - January 13, 2011

    […] of you have expressed the desire to help. My dear friend Kirsten, up in Toronto and my new friends, Tami and Dave have come up with a brilliant way to help – […]

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