Posted by Guest Blogger on October 05, 2010
We are pleased to feature this story created by our Guest Blogger, Ms. Tarajo T. Abalde. The blog entry describes what it meant to her to participate in organizing a blood drive with her university peers and in conjunction with the Philippine Red Cross – Davao to collect blood donations for people living with leukemia in their community. It is notable that we received over 50 responses from student organizers expressing similarly inspirational sentiments. Many of the comments from classmates are being added as comments to this story.
There are increasing number of people diagnosed with cancer specifically cancer of the blood a.k.a. Leukemia. As we all know, blood is vital for life sustainability. When I was a little kid, I wanted to be diagnosed with Leukemia because I always hear that word. As I was growing up, I learned that Leukemia is a disease which is incurable. Upon knowing it, I made a research about the disease and found out that a lot of people have it. As I scan through the problems encountered by patients and their families, I found out that all of them readily need blood. Since then I always wanted to help these people but the question was, how?
Now, I am in my fourth year in college and occupied with my studies, questions about people with leukemia moved aside. But, when our professor told us that his wife has been diagnosed with Leukemia (I forgot what type of Leukemia it was), the passion for helping patients with this disease come rushing into my veins again. He shared his experiences and how they deal with it and told us that The Max Foundation has been helping them. The class got all inspired and proposed that we’ll have a bloodletting activity to help The Max Foundation collects more blood for Leukemia patients. Since then the class helped hand-in-hand in making the activity a success.
The class was only given 14 days to prepare all the necessary papers and coordinate with other agencies and University clubs and organizations. Since it is our first time to conduct an activity like this, there were problems encountered but because of the enthusiasm that the class has, we were able to surpass and solve them all.
It is the beneficiaries that keep us going. Every one participated and did their part properly and even exceeds what was expected from them. It was an atmosphere of love and care and our goal to help is our stepping stones. Every steps represent one life, I never heard someone said, “I give up” instead it was all, “We can do this guys.” or “Our efforts will be all worth it, let’s keep going!” On the day of the bloodletting, honestly, I was hesitant that maybe only few will give their attention to the project but even if we were still setting up the area, there were people already standing in line, waiting for the activity to open. I was shocked by how students came flooding the area and how the volunteers were outnumbered and had to call for additional nurses to assist in the bloodletting. Some of us were roaming around the campus to invite more donors and some were even standing near the gates of the school to encourage by passers to donate some of their blood.
I was very overwhelmed upon seeing the donors especially those I never expected to donate. There were also donors who was hesitant to donate at first because they were afraid of the needle and blood but because of self-determination they were able to conquer their fears and when asked if they are still willing to donate soon, anonymously they said “YES” with positive and proud tone. By passers also developed the sense of donating when they hear that our beneficiaries are leukemia patients. The four hours that were given to us was not enough because even when it was 7 o’clock in the evening there were still willing donors coming in but unfortunately, they were not entertained. In the end the class was able to collect 50 cards out of 65 donors. We were all happy not because our efforts was well paid off but because we were able to extend our hands to those in need especially to the patients. Most of all, the height of our happiness was when our professor said, “You really did a great job class.” I got goose bumps and all I can do was cry, they may say its tears of joy but I say, it’s not just tears of joy; it’s a representation of our unity and success. Every tear represents our efforts, our cooperation, our professor and his wife, the patients, The Max Foundation, and everything that came along our way in implementing the project. Truly, in every struggle of each individual God will turn his people to be an instrument of help and for those who helped, it’s not the compensation that counts, it is the value of sharing and the sense that one was able to lend a hand that is most treasured.
The 50 cards collected had been sent to The Max Foundation office in Manila, Philippines. The class is looking forward to the next bloodletting activity hopefully this February with the theme, “GIVE LOVE TO THE MAX FOUNDATION.”
Tarajo T. Abalde; Davao City, Philippines