Later that day an idea came to me, and I knew exactly what I should do.
For almost 8 years prior to her death, Sue was on immunoglobulin therapy, an intravenous treatment derived from the blood supply. It's purpose was to boost her immune system by injecting her with little bits of the immune systems of thousands of people.
|Sue and her little girl at a family reunion in 2007|
This was not something that cured her, or even kept her from continuing to get sick, but I do think it drastically slowed her illness. Her bouts with pneumonia decreased dramatically.
Sister Kate and I had gotten in the habit of donating blood every six weeks. I would tell Sue, "Don't worry, we are pouring our blood right back into the system for you!" She would chuckle and say, "Thanks, on behalf of myself and all the other sickies!"
But life got very hectic. As Sue's illness progressed we needed to be by her side. As a result, our blood donation routine fell off the schedule.
On her birthday I didn't just want to sit around crying about her. (I did a fair amount of that anyway though, trust me.) I wanted to find something to do that would honor her memory. Blood donation was the perfect "something".
As I sat in the chair with that needle in my arm, all I could think was, "This could keep somebody else's sister alive." I thought about how fortunate we all were that because of our community blood supply, Sue's quality of life was better. We had her for longer than we would have without it.
As I left the blood donation center on Saturday, I made my next appointment. I am committed to keeping up with my every 6 week schedule now.
|What do ya say? Will you do our Mom a solid?|
There are some of you who can't donate for various reasons (hello pregnant cousin!) but you can still help! You could help by sharing, tweeting, whatever-ing this post to other people you know who CAN donate! (You could also just tell people. Or, and here's a great idea, you could make an appointment for a friend, then tell them you are taking them to get a Slurpee, but take them to give blood instead! Just kidding, don't do that, your friend will probably be mad. But I'm sure you have other creative ideas in that head of yours.)
And then, (yes I'm asking for a favor on top of my favor) could you just leave me a comment or call me (I'm just assuming that everyone who reads this blog has my phone number.) and let me know that you did it? It would seriously make my day, or my week, or my year! If you live close by, I might even bring you some cookies for doing something so nice. Now that's all the favors I'm going to ask. For now.
I'd like to thank you all in advance, on behalf of the sickies! (And sisters of sickies)