Friday Night-out: Donating Blood in Singapore

About 4 years ago, many good souls touched my heart when our family’s heart was broken. Dad was diagnosed with liver cirrhosis and we were told that his case was terminal with only less than 6 months to live.

The agony was unbearable knowing that you only have 6 short months or less to show how grateful you are to one of the two people who sacrificed so much for you.  I wish I could bring him to all the places he’d like to see before everything’s over. I wish I could give a part of me so he would live longer. We’d see Dad happy and active one moment, and the next moment, he’d throw up blood. His haemoglobin would drop to an average of 4g/decilitre (normal haemoglobin level for a male is 13.5 to 17.5 grams per decilitre) and we will all be out looking for 2-4 bags of blood for his blood transfusion. It was a tough routine.

I wished, I could give a part of me so he would live longer, but I couldn’t.

I was heartbroken but healthy and with a weight less than 100lbs. I was rejected as a blood donour for Daddy. The struggle to find blood in the Philippines was real and we needed 2-4 bags every month. From then on, donating blood became part of my long bucket list.

Note to self: I will take care of my body and be healthy so that a part of me can help save lives and heal families’ broken hearts.

The inspiration: Two good souls (Enzo & Carina) will always be a part of me because they gave their blood to Dad, a total stranger to them whom they knew the situation via twitter, without asking for anything in return. Together with one of my best bosses and friend, Kaoru, who courageously donated her blood though she knows that Philippines is not as advanced as Japan; our family friends and lastly, to the couple with a big heart, Ellese & Jhong, for almost sharing with us a platoon of army donours when we needed them the most. 🙂

The push-factors: Great neighbours with big hearts turned into friends here in Singapore, Anna & Belinda, who’s happily donating blood regularly to help save lives (Shh..they already receive medals for it. LOL). Plus, the fact that:

  • every blood donation burns approximately 650 calories based on studies
  • you may have a lesser risk of cancer as new blood cells are regenerated
  • free medical examination as they screen your blood and looks out for transmitted infections such as Malaria, Hepa-B and Hepa-C, HIV and Syphilis
  • Blood donours are given priority when there’s an urgent need for blood (this is true especially in the Philippines. But hey, if there’s no enough supply for emergency use, how will all these matters?)

The process: We went to one of the blood banks at Dhoby Ghaut as walk-in donours on Friday night. The process is thorough but as easy as 1,2,3…

I’ve never had a chance to donate in the Philippines but my husband and sister say that they give”zesto” and water (sometimes instant noodle!) for refreshments but in Singapore, they pamper a donour like crazy making sure that you’ll feel like the hero that you are (they even put a bandage on your arm!).  For first-timers, aside from treating you extra careful, you’ll feel like you just passed a frat’s hazing when they give you your “welcome kit.”

There are 5 blood banks in Singapore at the moment and HSA’s website has a very comprehensive information if you’re ready to save lives.

For more information about donating blood in the Philippines, please visit here or talk to my sister who’s a regular blood donour. 🙂

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