It is now the holiday season and we are all getting very busy. But unfortunately, we sometimes get so busy we forget people still need blood.

After 9/11 so many people donated blood that the blood banks were almost overwhelmed. But by one year later donations had fallen off and they were needing donations. I was 63 at that time, but decided to start donating again.

I had quit donating sometime in my 40s, because the last two times I donated I got light-headed and queasy. But they needed blood and being older (and wiser) I decided to listen to the proper advice this time. So I ate before donating (before I always donated with an empty stomach. It is amazing how doing things the right way works better.) So, I am now 80 and I have been donating since 2002 without any adverse effects.

Then, in 2012, it got a lot more personal. My wife needed a transfusion. Then again in 2013, then 2014, and 2015. By 2016 she was getting transfusions every month (her bone marrow had quit producing enough red cells) and she needed an average of 2 units of blood every month for the rest of her life.

It’s Thanksgiving, so what am I thankful for?

I am thankful for my wife sharing her life with me for 60 years, two months and 15 days. I am thankful for Dr. Brian Eddy (her doctor and our friend for 21 years) and the 128 blood donors, who kept her alive the past seven years. I am thankful for my family. The last two years, every time I left the house my son (who has his own health problems) would take care of his mother while I was away. The last two months, my daughters, my son-in-law, and my granddaughter, helped me with the extra care she needed. I am thankful for the infusion centers, first at the Erskine Building, then the last two years at Community Hospital 3rd Floor North for their care and gentleness. I am thankful for Community Hospital 3rd Floor East, for the care, compassion and love they showered on us while we were there. I am thankful for our friends (lifelong and new) for their love and prayers and support. I am thankful for my church family and the love and support they have given me.

I am thankful God has separated my wife from her pain. I am thankful she is now with Jesus, her Lord and Savior. And I am thankful that I know we will be reunited in the future.

So, be thankful and donate blood.

I donate through Versiti (formerly Central Indiana blood Center) 1-800-632-4722 or donor points.com.

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