Monday, May 9, 2011

Giving blood....

You know when this whole heart failure/LVAD journey started back in October, I would get minimum 50-60 emails a day of friends & family asking what they could do to help. What they could do to help Kevin. Sure I told them to put Kevin in their thoughts, send us all the positive energy they could, and didn't really know what else other than that to tell them.

Aunt Joan & Uncle Robby!
About four days into it all I recall a CSICU nurse telling me "you can tell people to donate blood in honor of Kevin." Kevin had required 40+ blood transfusions, possibly more I can't remember exactly, and this was genius. I could tell people to donate blood in honor of Kevin. YES! This would be helping us replace the blood that Kevin used. Now, the blood wasn't going directly to Kevin, it was just that our friends & family could help replenish the blood banks across the U.S., in honor of Kevin. And this folks automatically made them a part of our journey.

I had no idea we'd get such an overwhelming response.

Jill donated blood - ROCK ON!

Mike donating blood
It started out with Otto. He donated some of his "life force" in honor of Kev, took a picture of himself & posted it on my Facebook page. Tagged me and Kev... Then Gina did the same. Then John. Mike. Jill. Lori. And the list went on. People would donate blood and write it on my Facebook wall or Kevin's wall, send me emails, text messages.....Friends would post on Twitter that they were donating blood in honor of Kevin and that everyone should do the same... Kevin would get tweets from people he didn't even know that were donating. So many friends and family donated blood!! It was freaking AWESOME!!!

Gina donating blood

Kevin's Aunt Joan was donating blood with Uncle Robby one day. They live in Jersey, with the rest of our families. Anyway,  she had the genius idea of holding a blood drive on the East Coast so that we could get more blood donated in honor of Kevin. Sweeeeeet! The place that they held the blood drive was coincidentally the elementary school Kevin's mother taught at for years. The blood drive came and went. 39 people showed up to donate blood. 31 donated blood. The other 8 couldn't donate for various reasons. Of which one was Dave because the nurse apparently brutalized his veins. You still ROCK Dave!!!

I hope to have a "west coast" blood drive but I'm so crazed with focusing on fighting Mr. Insurance that I just don't have the time right now. It will happen though. In the meantime, a fellow LVAD caregiver is hosting a blood drive for her son, Bryson. He's a bright young man, fellow LVAD'er, with a long future ahead of him, presently waiting for a heart. Send some positive energy his way in addition to ours. If you're available to donate blood, here are the details: Saturday June 18 from 10a-2p at the Turnpike Shopping Center, 187 South Turnpike, Goleta, CA 93117. Make an appointment by calling: 1-800-715-3699. It would mean just the same to me if you donated blood in honor of Bryson as you would Kevin.

Lori donated blood!
I'd like to say thank you to everyone that donated blood in Kevin's honor. It meant the world to both of us. AND a special "shout out" to everyone that continues to donate blood in honor of Kevin.... you are an amazing bunch of friends and I am grateful that our paths have crossed. One more special "shout out" to Otto who donates his "life force" in honor of Kevin at his local blood bank on a regular basis. You're an amazing friend and as Kevin's wife, I absolutely appreciate it. ROCK ON!!!

Rock on Otto

In closing, I would like to say that donating blood saves lives. Period. It saved Kevin's life and it could possibly save the life of someone you know one day. Donating blood is a small thing that you can do to help save a life. 

1 comment:

  1. Tracy - so you know this mindless blur I'm in right now - Joe is finally resting, thank goodness - his memory is almost back completely now - Now the big time begins - Long story short, what else would I find while trolling the internet while watching Joe sleep? You and Jamie have new blog pages - that is really the awesomest thing for me right now - because what better reminder to me that all you wonderful people who are also going through our journey are right there - inside my little laptop screen :) So I wanted to say to OTTO - you are from my hometown area - I come from Lakewood (just outside of Tacoma) It was wonderful to see a little bit of WA representing - As Tracy and Kevin would say "You Rock"