Fear is a Reaction. Courage is a Decision.

By Marjolie Fernandez, American Red Cross

My name is Marjolie Fernández and I recently donated blood for the first time!

Here is my story:

I’ve always wanted to donate blood but the fear of needles has held me back. As I always struggled to get my blood drawn, I could never imagine donating a whole pint of blood!

I recently became an intern for the American Red Cross and visited a blood drive learn more about about lifesaving mission and meet other donors.

There were some appointment spots open, so my supervisor, Andreina Sosa, asked if she could make an appointment to donate, then she asked me if I was up to it. I felt a rush of fear, but all I heard was me giving a quick and cheerful, “yes!” We both signed up using the Blood Donor App to make an appointment. It took me about five minutes to process my decision and couldn’t believe what I was about to do. I don’t know if I was more scared than excited to help!

We both got signed in and completed the health questionnaire. Before I knew it, was laying on a bed getting prepped to donate. Strangely enough, I was calm and didn’t feel scared anymore. Clint, the phlebotomist, was witty, and his comforting conversation  made me feel relaxed and in a familiar place. 

After about 10 minutes, I heard the beep announcing that my bag was full. I felt a happy-accomplished feeling for overcoming my fears and knowing that I could be helping someone in need of  life-saving blood. Because of my bravery, Maryanne, who helped me at the front desk, was also inspired to donate!

It was a wonderful first-time experience, and I must admit, I can’t wait for the next 56 days to fly by so I can donate again!

As Winston Churchill said, “Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision. We may not be able to always control when we feel fear, but we can always choose to act in courage, even with that fear being ever present”

Join me and sign up to become a blood donor today: www.redcrossblood.org

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