Oh Season of Giving

I started giving blood after my dad passed away in July 2015. I was already signed up for the blood drive before my dad was even sick,  so after he passed two days earlier, I went to Ketler to give blood in honor of my dad.

As soon as I got inside the ice rink I knew I was in the right place.. .all of my dads favorite players were honored with banners at the end of the rink: Dale Hunter, Rod Langway, Mike Gartner & Yvon Labre.

 My appointment today was for 730am and as I left Verizon Center last night after the Caps beat the Buffalo Sabres 3-1, I contemplated not coming because it meant I had to get up at 530am on a Saturday!  But then I thought about the person who might need my blood donation and how they may not even have the option to wake up early or late on a Saturday, and it all made sense.
After giving blood, you are directed to the snack area to replenish yourself before heading out on your way. There is a survey to help Inova Blood services better serve us . One of the questions is how to get more people to not be intimidated to donate. I answered to assure people they were helping others and with the great service here you don’t have to be afraid of needles!!


 With Thanksgiving teo days ago and living in a time where being kind to one another is not reported on as much as the unkind stuff, it’s important to remember we should be kind and give more than we receive.

 If your unsure or afraid of giving blood, don’t be. I was in your shoes not too long ago, unfortunately it took me too long to realize it’s not about me. It’s about what I can give to help!

 Next blood drive is in January!  I’ve already signed up!! How about you?! Come join me!  You won’t be sorry!  Oh and did I mention the Marcus Johansson bobblehead! 😉

 Happy season of giving year round!!

Give blood … Play hockey!

imageI used to see that saying all the time: give blood play hockey! And I would think, I’m too scared to give blood where they put a needle in your arm for what seems a long period of time!

I decided to finally volunteer to give blood last summer after my dad passed away. The Caps were sponsoring one of the blood drives at Kettler Caps Iceplex.  I scheduled an early morning spot so I wouldn’t stress over giving blood all day.

I had some incentive to go.

1.  When you give blood you receive a bobblehead and a Caps t-shirt..

2. I got to go to the same ice rink the Caps practice. Since I live in Annapolis, MD I don’t get to Kettler quite as much as I would like. And even though it was July and Caps practice was a month plus away;  I knew it would be good to go there to feel near my Dad, and

3.  It’s always good to volunteer and give to others!

I checked in at my time slot and was called back to the testing area to see if my blood pressure and iron levels were healthy enough to give. I met so many nice people throughout the testing process, which took only 20 minutes.

I was still in shock over my dad passing away and told my testing nurse about him. She was so kind and let me cry to her as I talked about my dad.  She shared my story with the nurse drawing my blood.  My story even made it to the blood donor coordinator. They all came over to me and let me share my memories with them.  I told them I was so nervous, but I knew my dad was with me as my strength to be there!

In a matter of 15 minutes, I was done. I hardly felt a thing. All I felt was a sting in my arm where the needle went in to start drawing the blood.  As I was giving blood, my view was the ice rink with Caps logos everywhere and Saturday morning ice skaters learning how to skate. It was such a nice backdrop to focus on while being so afraid.

After giving blood, I rested for 15 minutes to make sure I wasn’t lightheaded. Then I was able to have some water, juice, and snacks while I filled out a questionnaire about my experience.  I sat at a table above the ice rink  where the Caps practice most days. With banners in the background of Yvon Labre, Rod Langway, Mike Gartner & Dale Hunter;  I knew my dad was with me. Those were the same players my dad taught me about and we both rooted for. What an experience to have. Truly special!

Now I go every time the Caps have a blood drive. This Saturday’s blood drive will be just as special . I hope too that if you may have been fearful of needles and giving blood  that maybe I helped change your mind .

When you come down to it, you are helping save a life!

We would love to hear about your experiences and see pictures with your Dmitry Orlov bobblehead!  Tag us in them and we will add them to our story on Sunday!




Caps Community Bleeding for Oshie

The Washington Capitals and Kettler Ice Plex hosted the Inova Blood Drive on Saturday, 5 March. The turn out was great and even TJ Oshie was there–ok, his bobblehead was there!

Not only is this a great opportunity to support our community and help save lives, its a wonderful time to run into fans and talk about the Caps. And donors walked away with a new Caps shirt and a special Oshie bobbl head.

If you missed your chance to donate today, check out Inova’s website: http://www.inovabloodsaves.org for a time and place to donate in the future.