Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Perfect Gift

Please excuse my very poor excuse for a christmas tree. I had grand plans, but.......

It's time for a totally non-crafty post today, unless you'd like to make your own perfect gift box (like mine above), because that bit actually is crafty.

I don't often share my very personal information with anyone, let alone the whole wide world via the internet, but here goes:

Today is the beginning of a brand new campaign named The Perfect Gift from the Australian Red Cross Blood Service.

You may have never have never needed their services before, but I have.

I have an autoimmune condition called panhypogammaglobulinemia.

It basically means that my blood all of a sudden decided to stop making its own antibodies to fight off bacteria and viruses. Instead, I have a three weekly infusion of a blood plasma product named Intragam. Each infusion  is manufactured by CSL using a pool of blood donations from thousands of amazingly generous donors. It can take twelve whole blood donations or six plasma donations just to make one of my three weekly doses.

Since the year 2000 I've probably had about 150 infusions. If you do the math..... 150 infusions x 12 whole blood donations = 1800 donations just for me, so far.

This is the reason why I'm still here today, and it's something that I'll need for the rest of my life.

The holiday period of December and January can be the most critical time for blood stocks, as most of Australia goes on holiday.

The hard facts: (AUSTRALIA)

  • Every donation can save three lives.
  • Every donation is valuable because 1 in 3 Australians will need blood, yet only 1 in 30 donates.
  • The need for blood is constant and all blood components have a limited shelf life, which is why donations are needed every day. Blood and blood treatments are delivered to hospitals around Australia 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – even on Christmas Day.
  • Australia needs over 26,000 blood donations every week to save lives and to meet the need of patients.
  • Donations made in December could help patients recover to be home for Christmas or the New Year.

Maybe you and your family would consider giving the perfect gift this christmas holiday period. It's as simple as making an appointment by calling 131495, or you can even book online.

I'd be eternally grateful....


Ellieboo said...

A great gift indeed Cam - sadly they dont want my pommy blood - cheeky sods :)

Fiona said...

Hey, the Christmas tree is great and so too is your cause. I'd gladly give the Canadian blood service some of mine, but they're picky and won't take mine. I'll try to persuade my sister and her family in NSW to donate instead.

amity ville boronia said...

You've already inspired me to make my first ever donation and my next is booked in for the end of Jan! I even roped in Damien (my boyfriend) to come along too next time.

We're lucky enough to live in an area that has a permanent blood bank, so it's really not even an effort :D

mandapanda said...

I know. wish I could donate. I can't. :( Anemia + other problems means my blood's no good for trans. Oh well. I'm a common type anyway. If I was an AB or something then it'd be even sadder.

beck said...

Thanks for sharing this very personal part of your life with us, and for such a good reason. If we all donated blood regularly it would help so many people, like yourself. Hope your festive season is a happy one Cam, and by the way, I love your tree!! xo

Emjie said...

Long, long ago in a galaxy far away I was a blood donor. I think though, I will become a donor again, in the later half of 2011 (currently pregnant).
It is easy to forget how much is required per day. I mean there are people such as yourself that need it consistently. But then there are the things that can't be planned for — like people in sudden accidents or surgery complications. It all adds up, doesn't it.
When I used to donate blood I remember feeling really good and amazingly it was one of the easiest things to do.

sophie said...

Yes, I hear you! Eva needed so many transfusions when she was sick so now I donate every 3 months - it is one of the few things that give me such a high, it feels good to do good!

Thank you for sharing your story.

Copper Patch said...

Thanks for sharing Cam. I've blogged it too coz I think you're ace. I'll be back to donating once I have produced the child prodigy.
Take care of yourself - I love your tree by the way.
Ab x

Becky said...

I donate already, but this is a great reminder for people on how it is an important thing a lot of us can do. Thanks for sharing.

My Bearded Pigeon said...

I bloody well would, but they won't let me- it is so annoying!!! I MAY have mad cow disease cos' of living in the UK in the 90's. But I asm constantly harrassing others. Good on you Cam. xx

Corrie said...

great post and I never thought about blood donations being quieter over the holidays! I'd so love to donate and was shocked to discover years ago that I couldn't because I lived in the UK too (in the 80's for me!)

my hubby donates though!


Selina said...

Such an inspiring post Cam. I too have needed blood when what was meant to be a fairly routine operation went bad. It saw me loose half of my liver and have 4 bags of blood transfused. If it wasn't for that special someone donating blood, I would not be here today either. It's one thing that people can do this busy season that doesn't cost them a thing.


delia hornbook said...

Wow Cam, what a great post and no better person to advertise it than you. I hope you continue to get the blood that you need. I used to give blood in the UK but they stopped me from coming as i had a bad reaction to giving each time. Take lots of care. Dee x

Megan.K. said...

Cam I've never donated blood, although my Dad used to regularly. Your post has inspired me to get on with it.

p.s I love the tree.


Tas said...

Thank you. Awareness is the first step. I stopped giving blood when I got pregnant for the first time and have been apathetic about getting back to it. Hubby and I need to get to it. All the best Cam.

simplestitches said...

Thanks for the reminder...I started donating just after my mum passed away a few years ago. Mum went through dialysis for quite a while and needed blood transfusions after major surgery. It was enough to inspire me to get off my bum and go and do it in her memory.
Such a small gift, can be a lifesaver for another!
All the best and thank you for sharing your story...hope it inspires a few more to do something for someone else...

Jennifer Rose said...

i love the tree :D very pretty and no pine needles to clean up off the floor!

i would love to donate blood but they wont take mine because i don't clot very well :/

Libster said...

it makes me mad, cause I cant donate cause I might be full of mad cows lol. however, you reminded me that my now 16yrold daughter is able to donate (which she wants to do, not cause I said) so will be trotting down to the nearest blood bank in the next week to let her do her first donation.

Liesl said...

Done! I'm all booked in for Christmas Eve :) The online booking system is fantastic.

Jennie said...

Thank you for letting us know about this. That is very full on , to have to go every 3 weeks! We will definately be donating when we get over there!

(David went over for an interview this week!)
Much love, Jennie.x

74 Lime Lane said...

A brilliant post Cam, and thanks for sharing this.
You've reminded me I must go back to donating. {I had too stop for a while after having Ross River fever}
But it is important for those who can, to do. As we can see here, for many reasons people can't and that means the rest of us need to step up to the plate-let. {sorry, a little medical humour!}
Have a lovely Christmas Cam, and I love your tree.

Christina said...

Such an honest and insightful post Cam. I am unable to donate at the moment, as I go in for radio iodine treatment on Monday for my hyperthyroidism and will be radio active for awhile! But I will be encouraging every one else I know to donate and will donate myself as soon as I am able. I have had that many blood tests the past twelve months with my overactive thyroid, it would be good to be giving the blood to someone who needs it and not just to check my thyroid levels. All the best to you Cam. xx

Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

Oh Cam, you are a trooper, every 3 weeks.
I have tried to give blood, but I have a medical condition where I dont absorb B12 (pernicious anemia) so my blood is faulty - I'll ask again, they may have changed the rules (and hubby is from the UK, and he can't donate either)

Nikki said...

I'm another Mad Cow, Cam - can't donate - but I somehow missed this post. I shall link though, because what you say is worth saying loudly and ofen.

flowerpress said...

Dear Cam,
I'm a mad cow too :-(
My sister in law though is a fabulous donater, but in rural NSW so not sure if her stuff is getting to you :-)
I think you are a great girl and an inspiration. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring people to donate. It can't be easy having to have all those blood transfusions but so wonderful that generous people make it possible.

Carly Findlay said...

Thanks for promoting, Camille.
And for writing about yourself.
I can't give blood because of the pain needles cause me, but if I could I would.

quinn said...

I'm here from Nikki's blog (also from the US), and I never realized there are so many reasons people who are willing to donate are not able to! I've been seeing signs for donation dates in my area recently, so I'll go right now and ask Dr. Google exactly when and where I can donate. Thanks for the reminder!

**Anne** said...

I wish I could donate but I take medication. My 17 year old daughter wants to but as she is naturately skinny (underweight), she can't either. I will make a point of bringing blood donation in conversation with my friends and family and maybe a few more people can be persuaded to donate.
Your are brave lady. Take care,


AJ said...

I have just booked my first appointment!

Merry Christmas to you!

Cate said...

Oh I wish I could! I suffer from iron deficiency anaemia and occasionally have to have iron infusions (bummer!) - but I totally applaud and support all who do!
And I like your xmas tree - it's sweet :-)
Merry Xmas - I hope it is relaxed and uneventful!

Cherie said...

Oh Darling Cam thank YOU for telling your story. I used to donate but not allowed since CFS in 1999. You're so brave, beautiful and talented to the max. HUGE HUGS xoxo.