non-hobby specific post today, but a subject that's becoming closer to my heart the more time passes.
I want to talk about blood donation.
I'm based in the UK as you may know, and I've recently started giving blood, mainly as a result of my wife having a transfusion after our first daughter was born. Anyone who has had a transfusion cannot after that time donate blood, so I signed up as I felt a moral obligation, having benefited from another's generosity.
The blood donation service comes to the building where I work on a regular basis, but despite this being the case for the last 13 years I've worked here - I'd always shied away from donating as I'm not keen on needles.
How wrong I was, the staff do this all day every day and they really are very good at it, I can honestly say it doesn't hurt at all (now the iron level test they do on your finger, that hurts, but it's short lived and you don't see the needle there anyway).
During my first donation I was chatting to the member of staff looking after me, and a story I was told really illustrated just how important the blood donation service really is. She'd been to a venue and the blood they had taken over the course of that whole day had been matched by the amount used by a single patient in an operating theatre for an emergency operation.
Here's the important bit - there were 40% fewer new donors in the last year than there were 10 years ago. I'm writing this in the hopes that my experience can convince others to sign up - even 1 person could make a difference. A close friend of our family is in a situation now where their 2 year old son will need a blood transfusion. Please please please sign up to give blood - it only takes an hour of your time (and you get biscuits afterwards)!
Let's make gamers and hobbyists in the UK a group of people who donate blood, you never know when you or someone in your life might need it.