“David Dassey is one of the healthiest men in Los Angeles. At 62, he can still run a sub-four marathon. Last April he competed in Boston for the fourth time and almost made it to the finish—just past the 25-mile mark—when the bombs exploded. Many of his fellow runners sprinted to the nearest blood donation centers, fearing the worst. Dassey, a doctor who works for the county’s public health department, didn’t join them. “I’ve known for 30 years that I can’t donate,” he says. “It doesn’t even go through my head anymore” Men’s Health Magazine, Banned for Life, 2013.)
My personal experience stems not so much from a dramatic experience as David’s, but, I was denied donation not even knowing it was a law to begin with. I prepped myself physically and mentally for weeks making sure everything was perfect for the local blood drive. I showed up, filled out the questionnaire, waited, and was denied right then and there in person. It was incredibly awkward standing there listening to them try and explain why they were denying me the right to give my blood. Looking at my doctors records and knowing there was nothing wrong with my blood, they still turned me away resulting in a lifetime ban. At this point its completely inaccurate scientifically because the blood can be tested. Its one thing for society to be upset about gay marriage and the heated debate of equality and its another to deny someone life by denying healthy blood. Like David Dassey, he witnessed the bombing at Boston and knew he could do nothing. To force someone to walk away from saving a life is inhumane and as corrupt as it gets to me.
I personally cant change the law. I can only spread awareness regarding the issue and hope that my words and creativity can help change hearts and breathe life into people.