What will happen on Day Three?

On November 3, 2012 by Eden M. Kennedy

Here’s something interesting you may not know about me (and millions of other people): I am/we are not allowed to donate blood. Because I was a student in the U.K. (at the University of Edinburgh) for a year during the Mad Cow Disease Era, my blood is now suspect. It doesn’t matter that I don’t remember being much of a spinal-cord-and-brain eater at the time*, and feel fairly confident that I don’t have The Madness lying dormant in me (oh my god), but just saying I survived on baked potatoes and shortbread cookies that year isn’t good enough for the Red Cross.

*And never will be no matter what Anthony Bourdain says

My “donate to Charity Water/Red Cross and get a whimsical drawing!” plea is still in full force. However, I have to cap my Red Cross matching funds to double what you wonderful, beautiful people donated during the first two days only. I’m sorry to have to do that, but even as new donations come in we’re still going to end up sending $200 to Charity Water and (as of this morning) nearly $500 to the Red Cross. All new donations will get a drawing from me and the money will henceforth go straight to the Red Cross.

So, FINE, Red Cross, you won’t take my BLOOD so here’s a big pile of MONEY.

I hope it helps.



8 Responses to “What will happen on Day Three?”

  • Another person like me! I can’t donate because I worked in London for 6 months in 1988. So crazy. I think I ate beef one time–who could afford it!?
    I remember being asked during one of my regular blood donations about five years later “have you ever lived in England during the years blah, blah, blah?” Ummm, yes. Why?
    Couldn’t believe it.
    And all this time I still can’t give. (Also fairly certain I don’t have mad cow).
    Donation forthcoming from me too. Very thankful my Brooklyn neighborhood was let off easy.

  • I served in the USAF during the 80′s, during which time we lived in Greece for two years. This renders my whole family (our two kids were born there) ineligible to give blood. Even though the linked article says that it can take up to 15 years for CJD to manifest itself, and it’s been 25 for most of us, I’m guessing that the Red Cross isn’t taking chances?

    What the article didn’t say is that it isn’t only cows that cause CJD – deer have done so. Zombies beware.

  • I’m in the same situation as regards blood, which really is a bummer, as that’s about all I have to give at the moment, being unemployed and impecunious.

    Never mind I was then and am still a vegetarian and was therefore supremely unlikely to have ever gotten my brain infested with bovine spongiform encephalitis. Grr.

  • I have the same issue – I was an exchange student in England in the mid-80s, and since I spent over six months there, can’t donate blood. I donated a lot of times before they came out with that policy though.

    • I lived in Germany from 1985 – 1989 and attended an American high school on a military base. I then donated over a gallon of blood during college and a few years afterwards. Suddenly, they wouldn’t take my blood!

      Today, almost thirty years later, I called the Red Cross and was told that restriction had been lifted and to call the Blood Donor center. I did and was told that it would NEVER ber lifted because the Mad Cow bug stays in your system forever and the only way to tell if that’s what you died from is through an autopsy.

      I mentioned that Mad Cow was found in US cows and only recently has the ban on US beef been relaxed, so what about American who might have eaten tainted beef in the U.S. She paused and said she didn’t know about that, but the fact still is that I can’t give blood because I lived in Europe in the 80s.

      Oh well, I will have to give back in other ways. It’s just frustrating that they took my blood for so long and then suddenly it wasn’t any good for them.

  • We’re all tainted!

  • I am perversely pleased to hear there are others with this restriction. No one I know has ever heard of it, and if I have to say that I am ineligible to donate blood, people eye me suspiciously.

  • Hey, me and my husband, too! And at the academic library where I work, it’s the majority of our unit, because of our age and interests. Very strange. We did learn we could be organ donors, though.