I touched on this a bit in the “Dear Person” post, but I wanted to elaborate more. Since I usually share photos on Wednesdays, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity.
Up until last Friday, I had only given blood once. Needles don’t bother me, I don’t get sick, the process is simple- I had no excuse. I just didn’t make time to go donate. I gave in January of 2009 and every time The Red Cross would call after that, I would plan to go and never follow through.
Until Kolby died. (You can read a little about that here: Eight Weeks.)
Now? I will find time, no matter what, to go donate blood. My aunt Brandi (Kolby’s mom) contacted The Red Cross and organized two memorial blood drives. The first one was last Friday. The Red Cross set a goal of 35 donors. I think because it was a work day and only from 10AM – 3PM, they didn’t expect a big turn-out.
They had no idea how many lives Kolby had touched. We may have only had him here with us for 16 years, but I’m convinced that he touched more lives than some people do in 60 years.
The goal was exceeded and the final count was around 58 donors. As I was donating, I saw several people (at least 5) come in to donate on their lunch breaks, but have to leave because the wait was too long. It was amazing. The Red Cross actually ran out of supplies because the turn-out was so large and unexpected!
My dad & I happened to get there right around the same time and we sat facing each other as we both donated in memory of Kolby. It was my dad’s first time to ever give blood! He said that it definitely will not be his last. I wish that it didn’t take a tragedy like this to open our eyes to the need for blood, but I am so proud to be apart of this now.
Kolby would be proud too. He is proud, I just know it.
I am so thankful for the support our family has received since losing Kolby. I know I’ve talked about how hard it is, but being able to do something was the first step in the healing process for me. Being able to go donate blood in memory of Kolby helped me to feel a little less helpless.
The next blood drive is Saturday, August 25th at Fyffe Town Park. If you are local, I would love to see you there! The blood drives are spaced far enough apart so that even if you gave on Friday, you’ll be able to give again in August.
Thank you for everyone who helped make this blood drive a success- not just the donors, but all of you who came out to show your support even if you couldn’t give or if you helped us spread the word- thank you!