Something really great happened this week at our little white church. There were lovely, familiar faces and kind strangers. There were experienced givers-of-life and people with sweaty palms and nervous grins pushing themselves way out of their comfort zones. There were TWENTY-SIX people who gave blood that had never given blood before! And, can I be totally honest? I was one of them. Yep. Until this week, I had never given blood. Pure shame. When I was in college and wanted extra spending money, I gave plasma once or twice. Not because I wanted to help someone, because I wanted the money. I’m sad to admit that I could have been giving blood for more than 20 years and I haven’t. The importance of it never even resonated with me until I sat with my sick little boy and watched someone else’s blood drip into his body. And, then I did it again, and again, and again… SIX times in only a few months, Mason has needed blood. Six times I sat with him and prayed that his little body would happily accept this stranger’s blood and not reject it. Six times I sat with him and prayed for that stranger who selflessly gave to my little boy without anything in return. I asked God to give that stranger blessings upon blessings for what he or she had done. I shook my head repeatedly at what an idiot I’ve been my entire adult life and I vowed to never be that selfish again. And somewhere in the midst of all of this, a friend from church said she wanted to help somehow. She knew the twisted road that cancer was taking us on and she has little boys of her own and a big heart. And she knew that blood donations had saved Mason repeatedly. So, she asked permission to do a blood drive in his honor. And I am so grateful. Fifty-eight pints of blood were donated over 6 hours and 174 lives can now be saved. I have a tiny bruise in my arm and joy in my heart because of it. Of those 26 first timers, I only know of 4 for sure – me, my husband, my best friend, and my pastor. And, I can tell you without a doubt that 3 of those 4 were the sweaty-palmed, pale as a sheet kind of first time donors. And, I am so proud because there were many ways we could’ve spent those minutes, but I can’t think of anything more important. And, if you are where I was and shaking your head at yourself…I have to tell you it really was so easy! I can give again in 8 weeks and I already have it on my calendar to do so. And, the great thing is that I’ve lost count of the number of people who told me that they wanted to come to the blood drive, but they had already given blood in the weeks prior so it was too soon. Many of those people had given because they knew of Mason’s fight. And others who live elsewhere gave in their cities because of Mason. Some of you have asked why we need so many people to give blood to Mason. That was not the goal of this at all. Mason was just the face that made the need become real in our minds. He will likely not get any of the blood given this week. I pray he doesn’t need it. But, the blood bank has a greater supply because of what we gave. And the next person who needs blood will get what they need because people gave. And, that was our goal. Can you imagine needing blood and being told, “Sorry. We’re all out.”? If I always have a little bruise in my arm, I’m doing my part.