I never gave blood. I didn’t have a “good” excuse and couldn’t think of a reason to donate in the past–it just didn’t happen for me. Thankfully, there were people who made it a part of their lives to donate blood. On April 19th, 2013, I would not have survived without blood supplies and transfusions. The heroes who came out after the Boston Marathon bombings to donate truly helped save my life.

Dic donating blood to save a life

After I made it out of the hospital, I connected with the American Red Cross and began a new mission: to help save lives through blood donation. It’s been one of the most fulfilling things I have done in my entire life. It’s a way I can thank people across the world for their selfless acts.

Here are some other things I’ve learned over the last three years while partnering with the Red Cross:

* Blood is always in need

* Donating blood doesn’t cost anything

* You can make a difference in someone’s life

* The needle doesn’t hurt that bad!

* Did I mention that it saved my life?

If you’re afraid, it’s ok. If you can’t give blood, encourage others to do so. Host a drive, connect with the community, and do something positive. You never know when your own time of need will be.