How to Save a Life Without Really Trying

Posted by: Belinda McBride

This morning, I was on the telephone, making an appointment to take my niece to visit her social worker.  Once we’d settled on a date, I had to change the time, remembering that was my regular day to donate platelets through Apheresis.  

To my surprise, she didn’t know anything about donating blood, and was even more mystified that I would take several hours out of my day every two weeks to undergo Apheresis, the procedure that separates platelets from blood.  

I began to donate blood a few years back, going in to the blood center maybe two or three times a year.  And then one day, I overheard one of the nurses mention that some of the cancer patients at local hospitals were literally dying because they couldn’t get enough platelet donors.  I asked about the procedure, was tested for my platelet count, and to my surprise, discovered that I was an ideal donor.  In fact, with my high platelet count, I am able to do triple donations twice a month.  That means six very ill patients receive life-saving platelets from me every month!

What does this have to do with writing?  Well, I spend about ninety minutes in a recliner while the Apheresis procedure takes place, and my mind wanders.  Once, I was thinking of a new idea for a story; the setting was clear, the story would take place in post-earthquake San Francisco.  I had the title: Dragon’s Blood.  But the plot just wouldn’t gel. 

I looked around the room at all of the donors and thought of a future where a mysterious disease had taken hold of the human population.  A future where donated blood became a rare and precious commodity.  This disease became a major plot point in the Black Planet series, and will continue to re-emerge in future books in that series.  In my current release, Tiger Eyes, the heroine is afflicted with the disease called Dragon’s Blood, and is rapidly dying.  Grace fights valiantly to stay alive in this story; she’s an amazingly strong character.

Over the course of my life, I’ve seen many lives saved by the donations of others.  My friend Mo received bone marrow transplants which extended her life during her battle with cancer.   My brother received whole blood following a devastating injury.  My co-worker Melissa made the stunning and selfless decision to donate her kidney to a friend, and literally saved that woman’s life.  

You too can save lives; simply call your local blood center to see if you are eligible to donate.  It takes a little time, and next to no effort.  To learn more about Platelet Apheresis, visit the American Red Cross:,1082,0_554_,00.html

Black Planet: Tiger Eyes is now available at Changeling Press:

Belinda McBride 

Tiger Eyes by Belinda McBride

Black Planet: Tiger Eyes by Belinda McBride

12 Responses to “How to Save a Life Without Really Trying”

  1. Leigh Savage Says:

    It’s great that you are able to do that…I’m not able to donate blood due to certain Med’s but I try to donate food, blankets,clothes and ect to our local Feed My People they do such great work in our community and help so many people.

    Blessed Be,
    Leigh Savage

  2. Adelle Laudan Says:

    Kudos to you for such an act of kindness. It’s amazing how our writer minds work lol
    Best of luck in all your endeavors.
    Adelle ‘Legs’ Laudan

  3. Belinda McBride blogs with Wild on Books! | Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    […] « Jennifer Ray guest blogs on vampire fiction […]

  4. angie Says:

    i wish i could donate blood but the wont take mine as i had 2 uncles die of choleral or how ever you spell it and i have a high level too

    but i wish the people that could would

  5. Daun Ann Korty Says:

    Blessed Be with your high platelet count. I used to be able to give platelets, but my ‘out’ arm wouldn’t cooperate anymore, and one arm couldn’t handle the procedure. I was able to donate platelets five times before my body said ‘no way’. I’m in the gallon club for blood donations. I am blessed that I did this. When I had my last child (nine years ago), I was on blood thinners due to blood clotting and ended up loosing 2 1/2 pints of blood. Luckly, I got two donated pints of blood to ‘fill my tank’ back up.

    Blessed be with all of you that can donate anything.

  6. John Klawitter Says:

    Interesting process to free your mind to wander. And the world is a better place as well, because of your habit. You probably know this already, but much of the brain works more like a radar homing device than a phone book. For instance, you look at something and your brain says…hmmm, round…smaller than a plum but bigger than a pea…soft…green color…sweet taste…yeah, that’s a grape, alright. Of course, it does all that in about a millisecond, the path to get you to the sacred place inside your head where you’ve stored the word “grape” attached to its meaning Sometimes people who have had strokes or been in auto accidents involving physical trauma to the head…sometimes those people’s radar is jiggled to where it’s a bit off, sometimes with everything, sometimes just in certain areas of knowledge. There are people who know a whale when they see it, but don’t know the name for it. Others know a Ford is a car, but don’t know what a fender is. When you know what things are but don’t remember their names, that’s a disease called aphasia.
    John Klawitter

    P.S. What if you went in next week, but the hospital had been taken over by vampires who planned van you to their castle where their plan is to keep the donors alive and just milk their blood every little while, keeping them alive until their high holy feast, which is surely Crucifixon Day when there will be a high holy feast of blood for all?

  7. Robyn Michaels Says:

    This is a wonderful article and such an amazing cause. It’s interesting how your series came together while you were doing something selfless for your fellow man. Thanks for sharing your interest, your cause and your stories.

  8. Belinda McBride Says:

    Hey guys,thanks for your comments! And John, if the vamps come for me, well, I’d probably go along just to check out their digs! LOL! Also, I was in an auto accident, and I did actually land on my head when I flew out the window! My radar is still a tiny bit scrambled…

  9. Jennifer A. Ray Says:

    Belinda, thank you so much for being here with us today. I really appreciated your topic, too.

    I firmly believe that those of us who can donate blood, should. I do it whenever possible, and they seem to like me – probably because I am O+.

    I’ve spent the day trying to get things ready in case I need to go home to Florida suddenly in the next day or two. My Mom had emergency surgery the other night, so the topic of blood donation is a timely one for me with a loved one in the hospital.

    I have to say I am very intrigued that you have been able to find creative inspiration while donating! :-) That’s a wonderful behind-the-scenes story for your books.

  10. Belinda McBride Says:

    Thanks, Jennifer! And I hope your mother gets better soon!

    Donors with type O blood are a hot commodity, both my daughters are O- so they are universal doners. But one keeps getting her tattoo touched up, the other lives on a yacht, so she’s rarely able to donate. I’m overcompensating for them!

  11. Debra Says:

    😎 Great insight into your books.Your a wonderful author.Giving blood is really awesome because your giving of yourself.On behalf of other donors and one who has had to recieve blood may I say Thank You.Without people like you I wouldn’t be here today.
    Have a Wonderful Holiday!!!

  12. Anne Kane Says:

    Kudos to you on you generosity. And nice that it helps out with plots! You never know where the next story will come from.


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