Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Corpus Christi, and much of the Texas coast days before DragonCon 2017 was set to begin in Atlanta, Georgia. Meanwhile, in La Tuna, California yet another wildfire is claiming homes and lives. These are just a couple of the bitter reminders nature offers regarding the fragility of human life and the brutality that sometimes finds us when we least suspect it. At DragonCon, it made the annual Heinlein Society sponsored blood drive all the more important.
This was my first year at DragonCon and, continuing this trend of firsts, I decided I'd give blood as well. I was incredibly nervous as I rode the escalator to the lower levels of the Hyatt Regency, not sure what exactly to expect. The folks from Atlanta's Life South immediately put me at ease. A group of professionals who have devoted their time to collecting blood and plasma donations from some of the 80,000+ attendees, guests, and staff making DragonCon come to life.
When I sat down in the waiting area there were nearly forty other people in queue waiting to screen and donate. In a matter of minutes I was whisked away to a cubicle where a nurse spent some time asking me questions to make sure I was an excellent candidate. A painless prick of the finger and an awesomely cool blood test in which I watched my drop of blood begin to clot on a glass slide I was ready to go.
The phlebotomist waiting for me was a young man named Jay. Each phlebotomist and nurse taking donations was responsible for two donors at a time. Working almost non-stop since the doors opened Saturday morning there wasn't a one of these huge hearted vamps that was anything less than friendly. Within minutes, this Scare Maker had given a pint and was being rewarded with a cookie, juice, and some cool swag offered by DragonCon and The Heinlein Society as a way to say thanks.
One in three people are going to need a transfusion to save their life at some point in time. Look at your spouse, your best friend, or your kids. Look at yourself in the mirror. Taking an hour out of your day could save someone's life tomorrow. If you're here at DragonCon, Life South will be here until 7pm (Eastern) and again on Monday. If not, check with your local Red Cross or other non profits and hospitals. Blood and plasma are always in high demand and, with hurricanes and wildfires hitting the nation from every angle, now more than ever your donation is needed.
I'm Danno of the Dead. I'm making that scary and saving a life here at DragonCon and you can too!
DragonCon and The Heinlein Society together with Life South were able to generate donations of more than 6,000 units of blood and plasma during the annual blood drive. These donations will be shared in hospitals across the Southeast to save the lives of patients in desperate need. Blood and plasma are always in desperate need and you can still help. Check out the links below.