Walk the talk. Valenzuela First District Representative Sherwin T. Gatchalian led the kickoff ceremony of the bloodletting held in Bulacan State University (BSU) last March 18, 2014. The massive blood drive is the first in the series of blood donations and medical missions which will be held, leading up to the celebration of his 40th birthday.
Dubbed as “WIN Tayo at 40, Patuloy ang Panalong Serbisyo”, throngs of individuals went and took part in the said event. Chairmen and members of various organizations did not miss the chance to extend help and do their part in advancing the solon’s advocacy.
The Bulacan and Valenzuela chapters of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) together with Cong. WIN, who also happens to be a PRC governor, did the planning and strategizing for the said activity.
“I hope that everyone will be inspired to do what I am doing. Instead of having a lavish birthday celebration, we can donate blood in order to help others. It might seem simple but it is very significant,” Cong. WIN said in Filipino during his speech.
The Valenzuela solon has been doing donating blood during his birthday month for 14 years now.
When he was first elected into office, Cong. WIN wanted to re-awaken the spirit of volunteerism among Valenzuelanos. So with every project and activity he conducts, the solon tries to make sure that everyone has the chance to participate and volunteer their help.
At present, the Valenzuela chapter of PRC has 3,500 sustained members. These volunteers are always willing to extend their helping hand to fellow Valenzuelanos and to other Filipinos in need.
In his speech, he also thanked all the people who came to participate in the bloodletting activity. The solon targets to gather a total of 4,000 blood units during the string of events, which last almost up to a month. These will be given to selected blood banks in the country.
Among the proud donors was 21-year-old Larra Mae Roque. “It is my first time to donate blood. I have long wanted to do such but my time wouldn’t permit me to do so. So when I learned about this blood donation, I prepared myself. I slept early last night because during past blood donation activities I could not participate because of lack of sleep.”
Cong. WIN himself did not miss the chance to donate blood.
The PRC reminded everyone to follow some simple yet vital reminders before deciding to participate in a bloodletting activity. The donor must be 18-65 years old with a weight of 110 lbs (50kgs); his or her hemoglobin level must be at least 125g/l (not anemic); he or she must have a blood pressure between systolic 90-140mmHg (maximum) diastolic 70-90mmHG (minimum); and he or she must have a pulse rate of 50 to 100 beats per minute.
Another requirement is for the donor to at least have gotten six or more hours of sleep prior the day of donation and to have taken a light meal.
Most importantly, the donor must be in good health condition. During such donation activities, an attending physician will conduct a final assessment to make sure whether a donor is fit to donate or not.
Aside from the blood donation in BulSU which took place from 8am to 5pm, Cong. WIN will also conduct the same activity in 17 localities in the metro.
Notable individuals who graced the activity were former PRC Secretary-General and Civil Service Chairman Corazon Alma de Leon, PRC Bulacan Chapter Chairman Berlinda Bartolome, PRC Valenzuela Chapter Chairman Elizabeth Chongco, and BulSU President Dr. Mariano de Jesus.
“For some, blood donation may be a little thing but in reality, donating blood can save lives. It is the most meaningful thing we could do during our birthdays. Let’s make it a habit, instead of a party, we should donate blood to help,” Cong. WIN ended.
Donating blood has benefits such as lessening the risks of heart attacks and cancer, burning calories and most importantly - saving lives.
Some 105 volunteers and staff from Valenzuela and Bulacan helped during the bloodletting activity.