Today, I went to the National Children's Medical Center on a glorious sunny afternoon for my monthly platelet donation. The hospital is pretty cool. It's on a complex with three other hospitals in Northern DC (VA Hospital, Washington Hospital Center, National Rehab Center) and it also has a Goodyear Speedwalk which is like a flat escalator. It's made of rubber, which is wild. I imagine when they put the first mall on the moon, the escalator there will feel like this.
Some of you probably have given blood. Due to the restrictions on blood donation, less than 40% of the population can donate, what with the rules on cancer history and gay sex and overseas travel. Having said that, only 10% of the population do give blood. When you gave blood, you usually give a pint of blood. Whole blood contains a bunch of things. Red blood cells, plasma and platelets. When you give platelets, they take whole blood from you, remove the platelets in a centrifuge and then return the rest of it.
Giving platelets is to an Ironman what giving blood is like to a 5K. You can tell in the donor center, when you're like, "I'm here to give platelets." The staff looks at you and nods. I also have a very high platelet count. Which probably isn't a big deal, but I like to think of it as a blood donor center equivalent of "You have really big hands..." The staff is terrific there, and I get as many Lorna Doones and Oreos as my fat ass can eat.
And I get to help children with cancer and other diseases all while sitting on my ass. Like the line goes in Boogie Nights, "I am a star." Though I keep my pants on.