I’m a regular Red Cross blood donor. I’m not a saint or anything. My father always gave blood, and I remember first giving in high school. I hate needles, but I know it doesn’t hurt, so I just look the other way. Now I give “double red” which to me means they only take me half as often, every 112 days, so it is more convenient to me. They call me when I am able to give again and I can’t say no, so they have a loyal donor.
The other day they called to schedule me and the nice gentleman on the line (probably a retiree volunteer, but I’m just guessing) asked me if I knew why I was such a valuable donor. He reminded me – I am fortunate enough to be what they call “CMV-negative.” Which means I’ve never contracted cytomegalovirus. Apparently by the time most people reach my age 80% have gotten it, and when you figure in who is eligible to give blood, it makes CMV-negative quite rare. So I am a type of rare patient.
But it is a “good” rare. CMV isn’t dangerous for most people, they usually don’t even know they have it. But it can be dangerous for premature infants who need blood, so they use my blood for them. So I get satisfaction in helping little ones, maybe even saving their lives!