November 7, 2010

My Sister's Selfless Gift

When A was fighting for her life for 12 weeks in the NICU, she received 3 separate blood transfusions. My sister, R, made a commitment during that time that she would donate 3 pints of blood to "pay it forward". Karma, you know?

This is amazing, because my sister is terrified of giving blood. I am too; I have never given blood, and when she told me her plan I was partly mortified and partly in awe. I don't know if I would be able to do it, even though I know that giving blood is such a life-saving thing to do. I mean, it saved my own baby's life.

Anyhow, this week she donated her third and final pint of blood in my daughter's honor. I cannot express how proud I am of my sister. Actually, I am proud of her always, as she is one of the most accomplished women I know. She works full-time in corporate America, yet still finds time to be a loving wife, an involved mother, room-mom, Girl Scout leader, and Sunday School teacher, among other endeavors. Hearing about her blood donation, it probably wouldn't surprise you to know that she is very compassionate, empathic, and a great friend. All in all, she kicks major ass.

Below is the (edited) letter she sent out to her co-workers (they were doing a blood drive at her company). Three co-workers who joined my sister in donating, all which had never given blood before and were scared themselves.

4 years ago, my niece A was born with many many many birth defects. Today, considering everything she has been through, she is absolutely thriving and she is a beautiful happy girl. She is a true light in my family's lives!

In those first weeks after she was born, she required 3 blood transfusions. In my countless prayers, I committed that I would repay those 3 pints of blood since they were so readily available when A needed them. This is a big deal for me because I am tragically afraid of giving blood. It is a real sacrifice for me to do and requires facing a lot of fears. I have "repaid" 2 of the pints so far and have one more to go.

I just noticed a sign that there will be a blood drive next Monday and Tuesday here at xxx. I am going to fulfill my commitment and was wondering if anyone would like to join me? If you don't wish to give blood, would anyone consider going with me for moral support and to hold my hand (seriously!)?

Thank you, R....and thank you to the anonymous donors who made that ultimate gift that helped to save A's life.


  1. So awesome!! Way to go, Auntie R!

  2. I do agree that she is wonderful!!!

  3. Awesome post. Great to have great siblings.

  4. How nice of your sister! It's great that she was able to recruit some blood donors with the letter she sent out. I used to donate blood more frequently, and started when I was first able to in high school. Sometimes I was turned away due to low iron, but I would go back when I was next able to. I was very proud when I got a little pin from the Red Cross marking my 1 gallon-mark of blood donation!

    Unfortunately, I haven't given blood in a while - I think it's been 1.5-2 years. I canceled my appointment when I coming up on a 5k in July 2009. Since then, I have signed up for other running events and realized I should probably not be low on blood while training.

    Maybe I will try to donate again before I start up my training for my next half marathon!


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