Most of us would have come across the issue of blood donation in our school days. On average, it is not recommended that a person donate blood more than 3-4 times a year. To our surprise, we found one person an exception to this.
Recently, the Tribune met the deep-eyed and cheerful Kim Gwang-il (senior, Faculty of Applied Chemical Engineering). It seems that he donates blood whenever he has free time. Thanks to this eagerness, he has given blood 65 times to date. In recognition of his feat, he was chosen as the first winner of the blood donation competition hosted by the General Students Council (GSC) in 2005.
Belief in Christianity has played an essential role in his reason for donating blood. Since the Bible stipulates “Love Your God and Love Your Neighbors,” Gwang-il has been willing to display his love by donating his blood to people in need.
On the several rumors and beliefs that if we donate blood very frequently, it may have negative effects on our health, he commented that it is nothing more than nonsense. On the contrary to this assumption, blood donation has rather positive effects on us in that it helps to check our body conditions as well as making blood circulation smoother and more active.
Luckily, blood donation was able to warn him about his bad health. Here is the story. One day, he went to the Blood Donation House as was often the case with him. Several weeks after that visit, he got a notice that the ALT (Alanine Amino-Transferase) count in his liver was over the normal numerical value. The normal ALT count is 45 or below, but his was over 100. As soon as he became aware of it, he went to see a physician and was cured in time. He related the episode to us with a relieved sigh as if he had just passed through a serious crisis.
Apart from blood donation, he declared that he is planning to donate his bone-marrow, which is extracted from the spinal cord, for the purpose of helping to cure leukemia patients. “I will be happy to see other people overcome their illness and lead new lives with my bone-marrow. My body becomes useless after dying, so I think it is rather worthwhile to share what I have as long as the practice doesn’t harm me.”
Before interviewing him in person, the Tribune asked him to bring his official blood donation registration card in order to take a picture. Contrary to my expectations, he possessed only two cards. He explained that it was because he distributed all of them to other people in need. One of his acquaintances in the church community, a middle school student, suffered from leukemia and had to be hospitalized. He found the only thing he could do for him was just to give him his donation cards and to pray for him.
“Nowadays, university students tend not to donate their blood but it is a worthy deed to donate blood and a way of practicing love. I hope a new desirable culture of blood donation will develop in Chonnam National University before long,” he said.
As he asserted, blood donation is to share love with others. It doesn’t require too much time and effort to give a new life to those who need it. How valuable it is! Our small efforts can cause miracles. Blood Donation . . . It is another way of brightening up our world!