The first documented try of a blood transfusion goes back to the 15th century, when a pope who had fallen into a coma was given the blood of three 10-year-old boys. Unfortunately the transfusion failed and the pope died along with the three boys.
Giving one’s blood away is an act which has been working in Estonia since 1941 and the people of Tallinn now have a chance to do something special: come and donate their blood in Estonian Business School on 9th March in order to help those in need of it. The charity event You’re somebody’s type will be taking place at 3 Lauteri Street in the EBS Student Council room and everyone aged 18-60 weighing over 50kg is invited.
Questions were answered by the event host Kelly Treu.
Where did you as the main organiser of this event get the idea to bring this type of an event to EBS?
It most likely happened because I really like organising charity events. I had loads of ideas popping up to my head. But out of the blue I remembered that the time when I can donate blood again is coming up soon, so then I thought why not bringing it to EBS. Organising such an event in our school is good because there are people in EBS who are too scared to donate blood and wouldn’t do it. However, if the blood centre is set up in our school, then they might reconsider the thought of donating their blood and do a good deed. When pitching this idea to the Council members I found out that there are people who have never donated blood, but would do it if it was so close to them, in their own school. At that point I had taken the first step towards organising this event in reality.
Have there been similar blood donation events taken place in EBS before?
Yes, it has happened before. It was 2008 when it last took place on the ground floor of EBS since back then there was a lot of room there. This time we have to do it on the 1st floor, as the ground floor is covered with offices. We would need an elevator which EBS doesn’t have, but we have two strong guys willing to help us carry the tables and equipment up the stairs. I also believe that there are more people ready to help us.
How has the organising been this far?
So far it has been relatively calm since there isn’t an awful lot to organise. I invited the Blood Centre workers over to EBS to check the room to see how many chairs, tables etc are needed. They took notes and later sent the info to an email. By the way, all of that took place already in November 2015. At the start of February I contacted them again and received a poster for the event. Time has flown and now we have the most important thing to do, spread knowledge that this event is taking place.
Do you think that EBS has enough awareness when it comes to charity events?
If I’m fully honest, I’ve noticed that it’s really hard to reach people in EBS. The posters aren’t the most striking ones, however I hope that the info reaches them through other media outlets. It is also important that the teachers and lecturers would also take part. It is important, because we have a minimum amount of people that definitely should become a donor. It’s 50 people and going below that means they can’t organise donations. I think that people should just come and check their blood, even if they’re not sure about donating. We’ll see how many people are interested in this kind of charity after the event.
Have you ever been a blood donor?
Exactly one year ago was the first time I donated blood. They told me that I have great blood, however shouldn’t come back during that year, because I was too young. I didn’t feel that well after my first time, not because I was afraid. The nurse told me to hold the ball and squeeze it and after that I felt like my hand was dead and thinking about it creeped me out a bit and that’s why I didn’t feel that well. I’ve read that some people experience almost fainting, but that rather happens because of overthinking the fact that they’re seeing their own blood.
In no time, 7 months had passed and I received a text that they’re low on my blood type and asking me if I’d like to return. I went there with positive thoughts, however in the end I didn’t feel the best. However, knowing that I had done something good made myself feel better as well.
What would you say to the people who are afraid of donating blood?
You really don’t have to be afraid of anything. I would call it an awesome experience of trying to help others in need. They have support people present who are there to calm you down with a positive attitude. They also encourage you throughout the process. If you wish you may always bring a friend to support you, even if they don’t want to donate for any reason.
Who is welcome to donate blood? Only the Ebsters or companies near EBS as well?
Looking back at previous EBS events, we can’t be sure that we’ll get the minimum amount of people needed. Maybe we’ll get enough people, but some may be rejected due to a simple cough or stuffy nose. That’s why we have made it public to everyone on Lauteri Street and elsewhere to gather more donors for the Blood Centre. It is important that they’ve got their document with them.
What would be your recommendations to blood donors?
Firstly to eat a proper meal in the morning or at least a few hours before donating blood. An hour or a half before the event the people with a sweet tooth will be glad that they should eat as much chocolate and/or drink as much juice as they wish. This will ensure that the blood donation will take less time and run smoother. It’s also a great way of calming down and relaxing.
Secondly it is important that the person is well rested. Tiredness and stress makes blood donating a lot harder. The less you think about the needle, the more pleasant process you’ll have.
You can compare it to the unpleasant subjects in school, in which you have the exams coming up. If you fully prepare yourself – study, rest, eat well – then you’ll definitely have a better result, opposed to thinking negatively.
To conclude everything, I recommend everyone to visit the “hospital” on the first floor on 9th March. Especially because donating blood isn’t only beneficial for others, but for you as well. Studies show that it decreases the chance of getting cancer or a heart attack. The process also burns around 650 calories for every half a liter of blood donated. Help those, who can’t help themselves!
Event on Facebook: “You’re somebody’s type”
Editor: Kärt Mättikas
Translator: Henry Ševtšenko