A friend encouraged me to become a blood donor when I was at high school and I continued more or less regularly for several years.
The day our daughter was born, a donation from someone else saved both our lives. The nurse who was setting up the transfusion mentioned AIDS then said – but don’t worry we only give blood from women to pregnant mothers. Ah yes, that seems most peculiar now but this was 1985 before blood was routinely screened.
Anyway, whoever gave the blood, it was fortuantely free from any infection because once I stopped breast feeding I became a donor again in between subsequent preganancies and feeding.
That all stopped several years ago though when anyone who had been in Britain for more than 6 months in the 1980s was precluded from being a donor for fear of transmitting Mad Cow Disease.
I don’t remember eating beef when I was in Briatin – we lived on tinned tomatoes becasue they were cheap – but regardless of that I can’t be a donor anymore.
Tomorrow is Blood Donor Day – I hope those who can will give because, as the advertisement says the life you save might be your own.