Dear Blood Donor,

I never really thanked you, but I should. Several years ago you saved my life.

I was in the hospital giving birth to my son, but something went terribly wrong and I had to have an emergency operation without which I would have died, and possibly, so would he. This was not the kind of thing doctors perform every day, or even every week. They hadn’t expected it, hadn’t prepared for it. But in part thanks to the fact that you had taken the time out of your day, and taken your very own blood and just given it up – the surgery could go on. I lost a lot of blood that day, but because you cared, just because you wanted to do a good, selfless, giving thing, blood was pumped back into me. Your blood. Now I am your blood sister. For life. Thank you.

Since that day I had promised myself to return the favor. Several times I had signed up to give blood, and each time something came up. Either I had gotten deathly ill several days before and had to reschedule my appointment, or had unwittingly taken an aspirin the previous night, or I was on antibiotics, or they just plain canceled the blood drive.

But I just wanted to let you know that today, finally, I was able to give blood. To give it back, in a way, and also to give it forward. To think: soon there will be another person out there, a blood brother or sister, with my blood flowing through their veins…my blood which is actually yours.