Monday, October 3, 2011

My Life in Disaster: Support Breast Cancer Awareness – Give Blood!

It's already October. I love the change of seasons. I love the crisp, fall air in New York, and even the fall fashions. But October is bittersweet for me. It's the month when my family and I remember loved ones passed. I remember my father and my mother-in-law. We commemorate his death and her birthday in October. Both of them were ailing; my father with heart disease, my mother-in-law with breast cancer. Both of them suffered for many years, and both of them needed blood transfusions at one point in their treatment.

As a teenager and young adult I used to donate blood all the time. In college, when it came time to donate, I did, twice a year. As a newly employed college graduate, I donated, and even as a new mom I did. I don't know what happened, but I haven't donated blood in a very long time. It's not something I admit to enthusiastically. I even walked by a blood donation truck the other day, and guilt tugged at me, but I still didn't donate.

October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. More than 200,000 women will be diagnosed with the disease this year, as well as close to 2,000 men, according to the American Cancer Society. The nature of cancer treatments, which can include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation, may lead to the need for blood transfusions.

So I have committed myself to donating blood in October. The Red Cross allows you to make an appointment online. I can't think of a better way of honoring the memory of my loved ones than by helping to save a life.

My Life in Disaster is a series of blog posts by Maha Awad, who is volunteering with the Red Cross and finding out first-hand what it means to be prepared for life’s many disasters.

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