If you Google “James Harrison,” you’ll see a long list of websites about a Cincinnati Bengals football player. If you Google “James Harrison blood,” you’ll discover the “Man with the Golden Arm.” And he didn’t earn that title playing football. When Harrison was 13, he needed major chest surgery, which required 12 liters of blood. Upon the realization that blood donors had saved his life, he vowed to donate blood when he turned 18. It just so happened that his blood contains
an unusually strong and persistent antibody… given to Rh(D) negative mothers of unknown or Rh(D) positive babies during and after pregnancy to prevent the creation of antibodies to the blood of a Rh(D) positive child… His blood plasma derivatives have since been given as treatment to one in ten pregnant women whose blood could potentially become incompatible with that of their children.
His blood has been estimated to have saved over 2 million babies. I actually received such an injection during my first pregnancy, because I have Rh (D) negative blood.
I’m scheduled to donate blood on Monday. Aside from the most obvious reasons to donate blood, there are other perks. Every time you donate blood, you get a free mini-physical. Anemia is a condition that develops when your blood lacks enough healthy red blood cells or hemoglobin. Ever since my first blood test, I’ve been anemic. However, because of the regular blood tests to monitor my iron levels (you can’t donate if your iron is too low), I was able to identify the source of my chronic anemia. Through trial and error, I discovered that for me, a low carb, high protein diet prevents anemia. And speaking of high protein…
If you live in Florida, you can get a free Outback Steakhouse dinner if you donate twice between June and September.