From World Blood Donor Day on June 14 to the end of August, the nonprofit Global Blood Fund called on citizens of the West African country of Ghana to share their best, most captivating stories of blood donation. Ghanaians were asked to submit essays on their personal experiences giving blood and, despite historic struggles with misinformation around blood collection and safety, residents from all over the country wrote in to highlight the critical importance of a stable blood supply.
Four essayists received nearly $1,000 USD in total, awards made possible thanks to monetary donations and Our Blood Institute donors who indirectly gave to the nonprofit by forgoing their gifted T-shirt through our Open Arms program.
We've included excerpts of the winning essays below, along with links to their full essays. We hope their words resonate with you as deeply as they did for us.
"What does blood mean to me? Leviticus 17:14 talks about how the life of every creature is in the blood. As a medical student who has come into contact with several patients in the course of my studies, I've come to understand the truth to this statement. Blood is life. Literally... Every time I donate blood, I get to be part of someone's story and contribute to something bigger than my little world."
"Throughout his childhood, my younger brother frequently found himself confined to a sickbed. Every time he was admitted to the hospital, my mother would return home in tears, repeating the word 'blood!! blood!!'"
"Although I had never met Mariam, the thought that our lives would become intertwined through the simple act of blood donation touched me deeply. I've come to understand that blood donation is a gift that not only saves lives but also brings comfort to families, hope to patients and gratitude to those who witness its profound effects."
"When I asked, 'Couldn't the doctors give her some blood infusion to save her life?,' the response was as you may guess. I lost my cousin because there was no blood available at the facility's blood bank to save her life... That was when I decided to become a voluntary blood donor."
We heard their stories. Now we want to hear yours. Tell us your what blood donation means to you and we'll try to include it in a future OBI.org article! Just comment below or email us at email@example.com.