Blood donor hero making disciples
Selflessness and an innate drive to help others have characterised Sonya Lawrence’s contribution to society.
Using as a motto the well-known song If I Can Help Somebody, Lawrence has made close to 110 donations of blood to help save lives.
Now the leading female blood donor in Jamaica, Lawrence, along with the National Blood Transfusion Service (Blood Bank), is spearheading a drive to donate blood this Sunday and is encouraging Jamaicans to participate in the exercise.
The blood donation exercise will be done this Sunday at East Jamaica Conference (EJC) of Seventh-day Adventists located at 74 Constant Spring Road.
“We are doing a love blood drive for the Blood Bank,” she told The Gleaner.
Lawrence has been donating the life-giving fluid consistently for more than 20 years.
“When I reached 100 donations, they told me I saved 300 persons’ lives,” she quipped.
“It is the joy of giving. It is the thought of helping each person you don’t even know.”
Lawrence said that if one or two members of a family donate blood “you may never know the extent to which they have helped themselves when the need arise”.
Kishana Pinnock, blood organiser at the Blood Bank, said that several persons have not been able to make donations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She emphasised that the Blood Bank was always in need and urged those who could assist to come on board.
Pinnock hinted at an additional benefit: donors would know their blood type or group.
“It’s another chance to know about yourself outside of saving lives and helping others, you will find out about your status in terms of health,” she said.
Lawrence advised that every COVID-19 protocol would be meticulously followed.
Each team member and every donor will be thermally scanned and sanitised. Mask wearing will be mandatory.
Pinnock described Lawrence as “the most dedicated, most passionate blood donor”.
President of the EJC, Dr Eric Nathan, said he has been working with several pastors to encourage their members to support the blood drive.
“If you make sure that there is always blood at the Blood Bank, if ever you run into trouble like Tiger (Woods), you might just need some blood, and that which you give might just be your own,” he said.
Woods, the celebrated American golfer, underwent surgery on Tuesday after a traffic crash near Los Angeles.
Nathan said the EJC has been urging the public to participate in the blood drive.
The sponsors of the blood donation drive are Central Medical Lab, EJC Virtual Church, Northern Caribbean University, Garden of Paradise Funeral Home, and FosRich Company Limited.