“Would you like some water, coffee, pina colada or a margarita?”
These were the first words I heard from a smiling face when I arrived to donate blood.
“If you’ve got some rum, I’ll go get my Hawaiian shirt, straw hat and a parrot for my shoulder!”
Knowing that my blood could soon be coursing through someone else’s veins, I took the safe route and opted for the water.
The woman who was helping me, Vivian (according to her name tag), asked me what I do for a living.
“I am a professional speaker, and I love meeting ‘real’ people who have cool life stories.”
“I’ve got one for you”, she said. “I work here because I had a ruptured aneurysm years ago.”
Turns out Vivian used to be an avid runner. One day as she was out for her trek, she noticed a woman riding past her on a blue bicycle.
Seconds later, Vivian’s vision was suddenly affected as everything she saw had a black outline around it. Grass, trees, clouds…everything.
Luckily her hands were still working, as they saved her face from the pavement when she collapsed.
She cried out to the woman on the bike twice, as a tremendous headache pounded through her skull.
“It’s okay, I’m here to help you. I’m a nurse” said the woman as she knelt down to help Vivian.
Right place, right time…right attitude.
After enduring TEN brain surgeries over the course of more than a year, Vivian has fought and clawed her way back, surrounded by caring people who’ve engaged their expertise to help her.
It even changed her husband’s life in a profound way.
He is now a blood donor.
And she is a helper at the Red Cross.
Her story made me realize how important it is for us to always be aware of opportunities to assist others.
Without the woman on the blue bicycle, Vivian might not have been here to share her story with me.
In a way, Vivian was riding the bike for me today.
With my busy morning schedule and several last-minute errands, I had no idea what I going to write about for this article.
As soon as she began speaking, I smiled…and thanked her for inspiring me to share her story.
Vivian, I hope you could read the messy writing of my web address so that you can enjoy the article you inspired.
I owe you a hearfelt THANK YOU.
And you owe me a pina colada.
See you in 112 days for my next donation!
In the meantime, I’ll keep on riding my blue bicycle.