Technically, it's not quite every other Tuesday, but as close to it as I can make it. I head over to the Red Cross Oakland Blood Center and donate blood platelets. It's a much longer procedure (called apheresis) than donating whole blood; the entire process takes 2.5 hours or more. Which is long enough to watch a movie, so between that and Netflix I've done a lot of catching up on movies I didn't see in the theater.
I've donated platelets (and whole blood before that) because I know it helps save lives. About 3 months ago, it became a lot more personal than before. My sister-in-law was diagnosed with an aortic aneurysm. As is sometimes the case, they found it while looking for something else. The most common way to find it is when the person drops dead. Fortunately that didn't happen with her. She had open heart surgery; not the heart bypass-or-3 kind, but the stop-your-heart and put-you-on-a heart lung machine. That process (besides keeping you alive while your heart is stopped) also destroys platelets, so along with gobs of whole blood, open heart surgery patients need platelet transfusions. So I'm very thankful to everyone who donates blood and blood components. Because of you, my sister-in-law was around for her oldest daughter's wedding last month. Thank you.
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