Monday, April 22, 2013


A few years ago He was feeling ill. The doctor noted that He had a low white blood count, but He could not find a cause. He was given a rundown of tests. This went on for over a year. I urged Him to see a Hematologist (whose practice incidentally is often combined with Oncology). After His fathers previous diagnosis with cancer He was hesitant. However, He finally became so run down He relented. We went to the Oncologist/Hematologist together bracing for the worst.

The doctor ran a battery of tests. However, she was baffled. There was no indication of cancer, a virus, autoimmune disorders, infections, congenital diseases, or any kind of blood disease. When we met with her to review the test results, she asked Him some very direct questions trying to find maybe a behavioral pattern that would explain the problem. Finally, she asked Him if there was any reason why He might think His blood count could be so low? He could not think of any. Her last comment was, "it looks like something is just sapping your blood".

He used to be a volunteer fireman (volunteer just denotes "on call" rather than untrained). Regularly His department would give blood to the Red Cross. As a first responder He had witnessed many accidents and recognized the need for donations. It was a community service. He always signed up when our church had a blood drive too. He wasn't just a "regular" giver in the periodic sense, but year after year. He was on the LIST. He is O+ the universal donor. When the red cross needs donations, their first line of offense is a list of past volunteers, from whom they call and solicit donations. Its murky, but I am vaguely aware of them calling for Him once in a while and leaving messages. Apparently, they called Him a lot. And, they did not bother to keep track of how often He gave. As His confession unfolded the cause of His illness became clear. His blood was being sapped almost monthly. To mine, and the doctors amazement He had not made the connection. He excused His behavior by personalizing His contribution. Someones son, daughter, wife, mother, cousin, playmate, outfielder, swim coach, viola instructor, whatever, needed HIS blood. How could He not answer the call as an O+ hero? After four months of treatment returning His blood count to near normal He is now on the honor system to only give blood once every six months.

They needed Him...

one more reason I love Him.

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