Wednesday, July 01, 2009

My Birthday

June 30 was my 57th birthday and humanity got a present. As I do on most birthdays, I ran down to the New York Blood Center in Brooklyn and donated a pint of blood. Blood is always needed in this city, and in summer it is in particularly short supply. As medical technology advances more is needed. Despite the efforts of medical scientists, no substitute for blood exists. If the right type is not available, surgery might have to be cancelled or, God forbid, patients might die. I will never know who benefited from my pint of blood, and they (today's technology allows blood to be fractionated into several components and given to several different people) will never know me. That is exactly how I want it, and the Rambam considers that the highest level of tzedaka.
The whole process takes about an hour of your time. Your blood pressure and hemoglobin will be tested to make sure you are able to spare the blood - and possibly to alert you to health problems. The discomfort is no greater than a pinprick; it should be the worst discomfort you ever feel. I donate several times a year, usually at Yeshivah of Flatbush. Blood drives are held all over town; if your workplace does not sponsor one it can arrange a drive by contacting the Blood Center (affiliated with the American Red Cross). It is a practical way to thank God for your robust good health.
Lo ta'amod al dam rei'ekha.

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Blogger The Leader, Garnel Ironheart said...

Happy birthday and many more.

Thu Jul 02, 10:38:00 AM EDT  

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