Thursday, February 4, 2010

Donating Blood

By Elizabeth Lane Hibbard, Ari's Aunt

I have never donated blood in my life. I am scared to death of needles. I have passed up a lot of opportunities to donate blood. I just can't bring myself to get in a chair and voluntarily let someone put a needle in my arm and take my blood out of my body. The thought is akin to sticking needles under my fingernails.

I have never donated blood, until last week. We were hosting a Blood Drive at my work--Paul Mitchell the School--St. George. With this health trauma that Ari has been faced with this past year, I have heard Travis comment how grateful he is for all of the people that give blood. Because, Ari has been the recipient of many transfusions. They are from complete strangers who will never know that their blood has saved someone's life.

I decided to donate blood and overcome my fears. Despite the fact that I kept telling myself I was doing this (indirectly) for Ari I was still experiencing anxiety. I had sweating palms and had to keep going to the bathroom. No idea why it made me have an overactive bladder. My stomach was turning and I was half hoping I could be disqualified from the questions they asked. I made it to the chair and the attendant exclaimed that my veins were golden. She was smiling so I assume that's a good thing. After a quick prick getting the needle in, it was smooth sailing. The anxiety was for naught, and it was an easy procedure.

I regret that I have not done this sooner and possibly been able to be a part of a miracle in someone's life who may have needed my blood. I regret that I am 39 and have taken this long and had to have a serious health issue in my own family before being moved to action. My hope is that anyone who may read this will be motivated to do more in helping out others. You may not know someone personally, but you will be giving a precious gift to another person's life. Not only will the person that receives your blood be given a gift, but you will also give to their mother and their father; their siblings; and their friends and family. Your small donation will affect lives like a ripple in a pond.

I don't know whose blood has been given to Ari in the many transfusions she has received. It would be impossible to tell. They most likely are not the people reading Ari's blog. Just the same, I would like to say thank you. Thank you for making her life go on longer because you took the time to donate blood. Thank you for letting my brother have his daughter a little longer because you gave blood. Thank you for letting my sister-in-law be Ari's mother for a little longer because you gave blood. Thank you for the miracle that may have been nothing for you. Thank you for the small things...because the small things ARE the big things.


  1. I did the exact same thing at my work, and Ari is my only reason as well. We cant donate in her behalf, so why not just do it. And I am terrified of needles as well. So good job Liz!!!!

  2. When I was giving birth to my third, and last child I had a rare complication where the placenta and my uterus had grown together. There were a few other scary things going on and because of everything, my doctor told me that this delivery could be life threatening. Going through that preagnany was very difficult and when I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy and everything turned out fine, I still had so much grattitude for those people who had donated the six bags of blood that the surgery team had ready in case I needed them. Now I am on the call list for the Red Cross. I am so happy to be able to help the way others were willing to help me. If you are at all able, please donate. I am praying for Ari and all of her family. I check this blog everyday and I am so grateful for those of you who post things. You are always in my family's thoughts and prayers. If I can ever help in any way, PLEASE, PLEASE think of me. I would love to do anything I can!