Here's what happened when I donated blood -- you can do it too!

The #BoldforBlood challenge aims to end the emergency shortage of blood and platelets

August 8, 2018
John gave blood!

John Yeager, Bloodworks NW

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I'm not going to lie -- I'm not a big fan of needles. I've had a tetanus shot here and a flu shot there over the years, and they're never as bad as I think they're going to be, but still -- I'm not a big fan of needles.

I'm sure that's one of the reasons I've been a slacker when it comes to donating blood. We all know that when a disaster strikes, whether it's a hurricane or an earthquake or -- God forbid -- a mass shooting or a terrorist attack, there's not much you and I can actually do to help. Well, there is one thing -- we can donate blood.

As it happens, for some reason right now around the Sound there's a critical shortage of blood and platelets. My friend John Yeager, who works at Bloodworks Northwest, gave me the heads up on this and challenged me to spread the word and roll up my own sleeve to help the cause, so I manned up and did it.

It's easy to make an appointment at the Bloodworks Northwest website. I donated at their central office on Seattle's First Hill. The intake takes about 20 minutes; they give you a tablet on which you answer questions about your lifestyle and medical history, they take your vital signs and give you a painless pin prick on your fingertip to test the level of iron in your blood (they can't take blood that's low in iron) and then you're kicking it on a big La-Z-Boy getting prepped to do the deed. If you're squeamish about needles like I am, you may have a few tense seconds, but I promise you: it doesn't hurt!  That was mostly due to my very gentle and compassionate blood-taker-outer (I think the technical term is "phlebotomist") Arianna.

After it's over, you relax in a lounge for 15 minutes with cookies and juice, and in less than an hour start to finish, you're out of there and you feel great for doing a good thing.

Watch this and see how it went for me:

I challenge you and your coworkers to be bold and brave and consider donating blood between now and September 3. You'll feel virtuous, and rightly so because you really could be saving a life. Find out more and make your appointment at bloodworksnw.org. And don't forget -- free cookies!