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What’s Your Superpower?

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“If you could have any superpower, which one would you choose?”

This occasionally-asked hypothetical question prompts a wide variety of answers, from invisibility and unyielding strength to the ability to fly, read people’s minds and see into the future.

My mother’s answer to this question, when asked by her daughters many years ago, came as a surprise. “I already have a superpower,” she replied. “I save lives.” She wasn’t bragging, but simply stating a fact my sister and I didn’t fully understand until a few years later. As a registered nurse, she actually did – and continues to – help save lives as often as I pop into the grocery store to pick up a gallon of milk and a loaf of bread.

I considered becoming a nurse, but after working for a summer in an assisted living facility I had to acknowledge that I lacked many of the personality traits essential for a successful career in nursing. I looked for another way to follow my superhero mother’s lead and found something more suited for me: I became a regular blood donor.

I’ll admit to donating blood for the first time as a 17-year-old high school student who rolled up her sleeve primarily to escape fifth period European History. But eventually I made a commitment to regular blood donation as a way of quietly acknowledging the lifesaving example my mother set for me throughout my childhood.

No matter how you look at it, blood donors help save lives. And in my book, that makes blood donors the best kind of superheroes. Maybe the Red Cross should start handing out capes instead of cookies…

Blood donation appointments can be made by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).