2013 New Year's Resolution

Mon 31 December 2012 by Kevin van Haaren

I'm pretty happy with the results of my one resolution from last year, to exercise more. I went from being able to barely walk for 20 minutes (a bit under a mile), to being able to walk, with some slow running mixed in, for 4 miles (120 minutes for that). I like having one resolution rather than a whole list, it focuses me more, so I'm going to continue that and just have one new resolution for this year: donate blood 6 times in 2013.

My father has leukemia. Because of this, 2012 was a very roller coaster year emotionally for the family. The absolute bottom was when he was sent home with pneumonia that wasn't responding to drugs on top of leukemia that wasn't responding to drugs. He was given less than a week to live. This was last August and he's still around. The pneumonia is gone, and still working on leukemia. During his treatment, even back to when he had MDS (pre-leukemia), involved frequent blood transfusions. Both red blood cells and platelet transfusions, sometimes both on the same day. He's probably had 20 transfusions over the course of his treatment. So my one goal for 2013 is blood donations.

I know, I can already hear "Kevin you dumb ass, you don't donate now?" Unfortunately no. I've given blood twice in my life. Well, actually once I gave blood, and once I failed at it miserably. I don't know why but I seem to have a psychological problem with donating blood. It's not the pain, i'm not sure why but just the thought of it fills me with dread. That second time I tried to donate blood? I fainted - before I even donated, i'd completely psyched myself out and collapsed as i was getting on the chair to donate. So in firm belief that the best way to overcome fear is to face it and keep going, I plan on donating 6 times in 2013 (you have to wait 8 weeks between donations). It's a mere drop in the bucket for what my dad needs, but it helps, and if overcoming this fear makes me a better person along with it then double-win.

I'll be donating at the Community Blood Center of Greater Kansas City. Medical requirements for donating are here