I wonder if Bram Stoker was a cancer patient and had realized the connection between getting blood and feeling better. This thought popped in my mind as I dropped my son off at school and saw the signs at the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church for our blood drive tomorrow.
Did he have cancer or some disease where he felt listless, more tired than he ever felt, unable to lift his head. Was he pale, did he bruise easily or was he bedridden? Whatever Stoker’s inspiration for writing Dracula, he got it right. Blood is a life-saving force and when it’s in short supply, people suffer.
During treatment, one of the first steps Nick took was getting his finger pricked on the main floor of Albany Med before he went to clinic. Waiting for the results was always a bit stressful, because they would decide whether we needed to stay in the clinic for a few more hours for a transfusion, get to be be home and comfortable or possibly remain in-patient until his counts came up. We experienced all three and the emotional tumult of it was very hard on us, but we learned to go with the flow, sort of speak.
Nick always needed platelets. Because they were usually in short supply, especially on the weekend, we would have to wait for the go ahead to give Nick his ‘blood.’ As he received his transfusion, you could see the color come back in his face, his body gain energy, and the drive to keep fighting was rejuvenated.
Giving blood is essential to helping a cancer patient survive. Without it, they can die. Without it, they cannot get to physical therapy to strengthen their muscles so they can get back to the sports they love; they cannot walk down the hall to prove that they are strong enough to be home with their family; they cannot fight off the ravaging effects of the chemotherapy that causes them to need the blood in the first place.
There is a shortage of blood today. Maybe vampires are running amuck and stealing it, but it really comes down to bad weather, cancellations, and busy lives. Tomorrow February 28 from 1-6pm Nick’s Fight to be Healed is sponsoring a blood drive at the Shenendehowa United Methodist Church, 971 Rt. 146 in Clifton Park. You can make an appointment or drop-in. Our wonderful volunteers make the best baked goods that you are encouraged to eat because you gave blood. So please stop by. I’ll be there ready to thank you for your time and life-saving donation.
Our children with cancer cannot do this alone. It takes more than medicine, more than money, more than a hug–sometimes your life-saving blood is the greatest gift they will receive.