Posted by: Bonita James
“I was given blood during my transplant surgery. I’m pretty sure I would be dead without it! #donatelife #giveblood” – Natalie Griffin
That comment from my incredible friend and OKC artist Natalie Griffin is why donating blood is one of the most important, selfless acts one can do. My Grandmother, a nurse for 30+ years, instilled in us kids that we will always give a little of ourselves to save so many.
Since moving to Tulsa, I had yet to start donating. I was inspired to not only donate myself but to also encourage others to donate with me. Where else would I ask others to sign up other than on Facebook? My new friends Kara and Haley heard my call and answered with a scheduled appointment!
Kara and I made a morning of it and met up for breakfast. Just down the street from the OBI Tulsa donation center which is located at 4601 E. 81st, we indulged in decadent breakfast sandwiches at Ludger’s Bavarian Cakery on 91st and Yale. Sure, they are known for bringing the best in cakes to Tulsa, but man, do they know how to do a breakfast sandwich! We needed a good, healthy meal before our donation, and Ludger’s delivered with a Gouda croissant stuffed with the meat of our choice, pesto, roasted veggies and a fried egg!
Kara beat me to the donation site and before I was called back for my iron and vital testing, she was on her way to her donation chair. Unfortunately, my hematocrit (iron) level was two points too low. You need a 38, and I was at 36. 😦 I’ll be consuming leafy greens and lentils over the next few days to get that number up and get my donation done!
Kara first donated on the first day she was old enough. For her 17th birthday, Kara’s mom let her skip school that morning so she could fulfill her blood donation duty. Kara had served as a volunteer with the local Red Cross for a year before turning 17. She saw first-hand the incredible need for blood and the shortage Oklahoma faces. OBI manages the life-saving donations from more than 140,000 individuals each year. Let’s make that 140,000 +++ individuals each year!
Recent Oklahoma transplant, Haley, was scheduled to give at the OBI Mobile at the Broken Arrow Masonic Lodge. This was her first time to donate, and she was proud of her 1st Time Donor sticker! She loved that the mobile unit was in her town and close to home. Haley proved to be a speed donor and was done in seven minutes! She was happy about how quick, easy, and painless her donation was. Her advice for first time donors is, “Don’t look at the needle!”
OBI Mobile units travel all over the state of Oklahoma. You can find a mobile unit or a donation site close to you at OBI.org.
Signing up and scheduling your donation is easy.
- Simply visit OBI.org
- Register or login
- Follow the site’s prompts to find a location nearest you
- Schedule your appointment.
You can also call 1-877-340-8777 to schedule or just walk-in to a mobile unit or donation site.
If you are unable to or if giving blood isn’t your thing, OBI has a great volunteer program and the green kind of donation doesn’t hurt either.
Big thanks to Kara and Haley for stepping up and donating with me! I’ll get mine in soon. I’m calling for all of my fellow Tulsans to help out your fellow Oklahomans!