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article imageOp-Ed: Real heroes donate blood

By Scott Ungerecht     Jul 1, 2012 in Lifestyle
Baker City - When people choose to donate blood to the American Red Cross, some give a few pints a year, while others have donated 100 pints in their lifetime. Father Julian Cassar of Saint Francis Cathedral in Baker City, Oregon is one of them.
On Friday, June 29, I read a newspaper article on the Baker City Herald website. The title of the article is “Passing 100 Points”. The story was reported by Lisa Britton and written by Jayson Jacoby.
According to the article, Father Cassar recently celebrated donating his 100th pint of blood to the American Red Cross. He also received a special certificate and a backpack for his donation. He also successfully recruited 12 new blood donors in Baker City, which I think is very impressive.
I cannot help but imagining how many lives Father Cassar has saved by donating 100 pints of blood. I also wonder about the possibilities of how many atheists might have been saved after receiving anonymous blood that was donated by Father Cassar. Who can say for sure?
Although I think giving the gift of life by donating blood is very honorable, I will never know from personal experience because I have nerver donated my blood to a blood bank or the American Red Cross.
When I was going through basic combat training in the US Army in 2005, an American Red Cross unit visited our training facility and asked volunteers to help donate blood. Every soldier recruit in my training platoon donated several pints of blood, except for me. I chose not to donate my blood and my Drill Sergeant did not order me to do it. He allowed me to make the choice.
The reason I chose not to donate my blood is not because I had a disease, but I was afraid of needles and I was about twenty pounds underweight when I had enlisted in the Army. I somehow knew that if I tried donating at least two pints of blood to the American Red Cross, I would immediately feel dizzy and probably pass out. This is not something I wanted to do in front of my Drill Sergeant.
After I told my Drill Sergeant I was not going to donate my blood, he told me that I better pray I will never need donated blood from someone who refuses to give it to me. That was not a happy moment and I felt a little embarrassed. I think Father Cassar is a brave hero for donating so much of his blood, and I sincerely thank him for his selfless-service. I sure wish I was as brave him.
Whether you choose to donate blood, like Father Cassar, or collect a piece of trash on a sidewalk, you are doing your part to make society a better place, and I think that makes you a hero in anyone’s book. So do not be afraid to give a little of yourself to the world, even if it is a few pints of blood.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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