Scared of the needle ? I’m not.
The Japan Red Cross Society of the Chiba Port visits my campus about 3 times a year, to hold a one week campaign each time they do come, in order to collect blood from kind university students or staffs. According to them, their ideal target is to have 100 donors per day and reaching that target is not such a simple task for many are pretty selfish or just afraid of the thought of a big fat needle has to go through their vein which hinders them from intervening into the whole noble act. Anyway, I missed once last autumn so I was really eager to do it this time, the moment I noticed their tent was up to suck blood from fellow donors. I made my way to the tent, proudly slipped out my donor card from my wallet and got 400mL of my type A+ blood sucked out of my body after getting a simple blood pressure and blood concentration test.
Their tent has the words “Give Blood, Save Life” printed on it, although I think it should be more towards “Give Blood, Save Lives”, but I guess saving one life is good enough as long as we have the heart for it. Well, let’s say I am pretty much a frequent customer for it was my 7th time donating my blood here in Japan, wishing somehow my blood would be precious enough to actually save lives. I’m always happy whenever the nurses tell me that they really thank me on behalf of the people who were in need of it. Anyway, here in Japan, they will give you stuffs like instant noodles or snack bars as a token of appreciation for donating. This time I’ve got myself 3 bars of Soyjoy, a new snack bar made of soy beans and dried fruits, which is supposed to be some healthy diet snack (urm, they don’t taste that good actually so I think it is healthy.)
Actually, I’ve bumped into an article by COLORS magazine a while ago while surfing the net (a multilingual quarterly magazine developed in Italy by Fabrica, Benetton’s research center) on their latest issue #73 entitled “Money” and it is actually an interesting issue which is based on money, with sections divided by the different traces of materials found on paper money analyzed in a lab. Waste, blood, metal, ash, oil, cocaine, soil, skin, silicon, feces, plastic, cellulose, ink. Yes, among those it was the topic of blood, a common biological material that can be found on money. In this section, it touches on the blood black market issue in Iraq. Here’s a transcript from one of the related websites, “In Baghdad, on the other hand, blood is lost in litres and replaced in cash – US$3,500 to be precise; the amount Sayef paid on the black market for his son’s transfusions.” Anyway, if you want to check on this section, there’s a PDF version of it on this fantastic website version of the issue #73.
It’s pretty ironic that certain people get highly paid or even have to pay a big lump some in Iraq for blood and here I am in Japan, willingly to give out my blood for free but I believe some people out there in the world who would really want my blood to actually exchange for money to survive in this expensive world we are in. I’ve done 7 blood donations, 6 times of 400mL and 1 time of 200mL (the first time when I was in Kumamoto did not worked well so they only took 200mL) which equals up to 2.6 litres and I really wonder how much that would worth in Iraq for blood transfusion. Anyway, the world is pretty much a wrecked up place where such illegal deals have to be done but I’m happy that I am just doing my share of what I can do here in the richer side of the world.
I know there are people who are afraid of the needle but am I weird to say that I kinda like blood donation a lot ? *hehe* Well, perhaps there is something fetish in me when it comes to blood donation. Anyway, I really am inclined to bloody matters nowadays because I am actually working on my research now to actually find a method to actually separate the digital image of your face into melanin and hemoglobin components. It is a method that many cosmetics companies would want to get their hands on as an invasive method to know the concentration of melanin (the pigment that makes your skin tan) and hemoglobin (in simple term, blood) in your skin in order to prescribe a good product for your skin. Anyway, those are the bloody matters that I’ve been linked to lately and thought of sharing them with you. Comment if you want to. Peace.