Deferred!? Rejection!

Last week my mom and I made appointments to donate blood together. Give blood, then “re-hydrate date” at Trebol’s happy hour. Fun!

Except for one little thing: I’m deferred from donating right now! Duh. I didn’t even realize I might be deferred until yesterday when I was telling someone about my trip to South America last summer. When blood donors travel through malaria-risk areas, including parts of South America, they are automatically deferred from donating blood for up to 12 months after their trip. I guess I was thinking I’ve been back from S.A. for more than a year, but not quite.

To find out if I had traveled through malaria-risk areas, I referred to this interactive Malaria Risk Map on the CDC website. Sure enough, Iguazu Falls in northern Argentina (where I celebrated my 24th birthday) and parts of Peru (where I celebrated the 4th of July…sort of) are considered malaria-risk areas.

What a let down…

I’m a little sad about my deferral, although it’s just temporary. But I won’t let the disappointing news stop me from going to happy hour with my mom. After she gives blood, she’ll still need to re-hydrate and eat some snacks to get her energy back. She’ll definitely need water, but I’ll have wine.

For facts about blood donor eligibility, including more information about malaria, click here.

Photo: Me having a great time at Iguazu Falls while maybe contracting malaria


  • Hi Tara,

    What a great coincidence that you posted this, this week! We, here at the Measles Initiative, are in discussions with American Red Cross Blood Services to offer globally-minded people, like yourself who are temporarily travel deferred, the opportunity to save lives around the world during the wait. If you are still interested in saving 3 lives – reach out to us. The need is just as great.

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