Monday, May 17, 2010

Little Blue Tag

Not this little blank card.

The little blue tag I'm thinking of had a hole punched in it. In the hole was a length of white cotton string.

The string attached the tag to the bag collecting my blood platelets. It was my fourth donation of platelets via the two-hour process known as apheresis.

The Red Cross nurse monitoring the donation progress congratulated me. As my platelets were still being collected, our wonderful system had already identified a recipient in Washington. She is a woman for whom my little platelets are a particularly good match. Now, platelets aren't as demanding of a match as whole blood. So that means that the woman is in a particularly compromised state of health. She needs something her body won't have to struggle with but can put to work right away.

She's probably going through surgeries and chemotherapy, perhaps radiation. Her family has drawn tightly around her in this treatment that they pray will save her life.

We take it for granted that when we need medical care everything will be there. We tend to think that cancer will be defeated and sent packing by pharmaceuticals and skillful use of the knife. We tend to think that our healing is in the hands of the surgeon.

Actually, it's up to our bodies. Sometimes it takes more than one body. Sometimes it takes having one body donate something it makes to another body that can't or doesn't make enough. We have more than enough platelets, all of us healthy people do. We have more than enough to go around. All we need to do is take time out to share a few.

I don't know the name of the woman who received my platelets. But God knows her name. I prayed for her to be healed in some small way by the gift that cost me nothing to give. It doesn't even cost me time. I take along something to read and study while I'm there. I donate in the early morning so I don't fall asleep. It's a blessed experience.

Having the gift of life and health, I can think of nothing better to do but to share it.

Thank you, God. Let the healing begin!


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