As we continued talking, he mentioned that he could see in my donor records that my blood is CMV Negative, making me an even better baby-saving candidate. You’re probably thinking “Tara, don’t be a pretentious blood-knowledge snob…what in the world is CMV?” Well, I didn’t really know either, so I had to ask Jeff.
CMV is short for Cytomegalovirus (cy·to·meg·a·lo·vi·rus). It’s a viral infection with flu-like symptoms that about half of the population gets at some point in their life. While most people’s bodies totally get rid of the infection, it sometimes sticks around in other people’s white blood cells.
CMV is usually harmless (if you’ve had it, there’s no need to worry!). It can, however, be harmful to people who have weak or under-developed immune systems (i.e., the itty bitty brand new babies); that’s why it’s important that these people receive blood transfusions of CMV Negative blood (blood from someone who has never been infected by the virus).
As I mentioned before, I’m deferred from donating blood until July, so I couldn’t donate when Jeff asked me that day. But once July is here, you know I’ll be giving blood like crazy for the little babes.
Whether your blood is CMV Positive or Negative, or you’re O+ or AB-, help save the lives of people in need by making an appointment to donate blood. Call 1-800-GIVE LIFE today…do it for the babies!