…there was a young man, say about 26 years old, who lived in a suburb of Los Angeles. His father went into the hospital because he was vomiting blood and while there, was diagnosed with a life-threatening, bleeding stomach ulcer. They had to operate immediately.
The young man wanted to do something to help. The doctors told him he could donate and thus he discovered he had a very special type of blood that could be given to anyone and, despite his fear of needles, donated blood for the first time in his life.
Today, the young man is still donating, working towards his 9 GALLON donation pin from the American Red Cross. (When this post was originally written, he was working towards 6 gallons.) Inspired to action, he began sponsoring his own blood drives in conjunction with the Red Cross and this year, 2012, will mark his 21st year working for this cause.
I am very proud to say that young man went on to become my husband, Dennis Amador Cherry and in 2014 we celebrated 25 years being happily married.
We’ve had a lot of fun over the years running the drives. For many years we would cosplay (wear costumes). Dennis always bakes homemade cookies for our Thanksgiving Day Blood Drive at the LAX Marriott. He also coordinates and encourages other volunteer/friends who happily do the same. This February we just finished our second year hosting a brand new blood drive, creating the tradition of making homemade scones for Gallifrey One’s drive at the same hotel. Both conventions center around a theme of science fiction – the Thanksgiving Day drive being held at Loscon (a literary sci-fi con) and Gallifrey (a primarily Doctor Who event). I am not ashamed to say these are “my people”, these sci-fi nerds and geek girls who all share with us a common love of science fiction in general and Doctor Who specifically. They are generous to a fault and seeing them every year like clockwork as I work the blood drive registration table is both a wonder and a comfort as they are all people I have come to dearly love for their generosity in giving the gift of life. They would give the shirt off their back and do give the blood from their veins so that you and I and all who need blood in times of crises never have to worry there won’t be enough.
It is to these people I dedicate this post to, with all love in our hearts. You are always loved and never forgotten.