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TUESDAY, 7 DECEMBER 2010

For your information....

I realised that some people don’t know enough about blood and bone marrowdonations, so I’m going to write everything I know to dispel any myths.

Firstly, blood donation. And I don’t care if you’re gay. Do you think you have some STI or STD just because you’re gay? Do you think there’s a massive difference between anal sex with a woman and anal sex with a man? People can lie. I would. They check all blood anyway, and if you’re clean you shouldn’t have a problem. You make a choice between helping someone and not helping someone. I’m sure they’d take your blood whether you’re gay or straight…. Or does a gay man have some kind of toxic, disease infested blood? Is it green? Is it yellow? No, it’s not, so stop being a massive arsehole and hiding behind the curtain which you call “rules”.

If you’re scared about the pain, don’t be. It doesn’t hurt. Ironically enough, before getting diagnosed I was on both the blood donors register and the bone marrow donors register. You feel one sharp prick, and then you sit for a couple of minutes and get a biscuit afterwards. YAY!

Second of all, Bone marrow. Now this is something that pisses me off.
NO! They do not stick a frickin’ drill in your bone, you massive ***. The bone marrow extraction is very much like the blood donation process, only a bit longer.
So, you sign up to be a bone marrow donor, this can be done in two ways:
    -          Regular blood donors get the option to sign up with a little extra blood being taken at one of their donation sessions.
    -          Go online and sign up to the Anthony Nolan Trust. Sign up and you will be sent a Spit Kit. You spit in the kit (OH MAII GOWSH, NO NEEDLEZZ!?! ) and send it back.www.anthonynolan.org/
    
If you’re a match to anyone, you will receive a phone call and be given the option to follow through with the following procedure.
You will be given some drugs to take over a period of about 3 days. These drugs make you produce extra stem cells which will dislodge from the centre of the bone and travel around your body in your bloodstream. Note: this is completely painless; you won’t even notice a change. Next, you will be invited to a hospital where you will be hooked to a machine and your blood will be taken from one arm, filtered through a machine which extracts ONLY the stem cells, and feeds the blood back into your body via the other arm. This is not painful, however you may feel minor discomfort. Once the procedure is over, you get a big pat on your back and the knowledge that you’ve probably saved someone’s life. You then go home and continue to live your life as normal.
At no point in this procedure are you ever drilled, or put in unnecessary pain. In fact, the only person who is ever drilled into is the patient awaiting the transplant, so if you were ever sitting feeling sorry for yourself and your minor discomfort then thinking about how much discomfort and distress the sufferer is in. It might make you snap out of it.

Now for the hard to explain part. Finding a match for blood donation is relatively easy because everyone fits into a blood type. If you match someone’s blood type, they can have your blood and vice versa. Bone marrow, however, is a complete different kettle of fish. I’ll try to explain the way that my doctors explained to me.
Bone marrow depends on a set of criteria. I don’t know how to explain it, so say there are 10 boxes? And in these boxes you can have… 1000 different shapes that could be 1000 different colours. And you have 4 core boxes, and 6 other boxes, so something like this, but obviously with an array of shapes:

The ones on the green background are the ones that MUST be the same. All four must match to even be considered as a possible donor. Even if 9/10 match, but the one that does not match is in the compulsory category, the patient’s body will reject the marrow.
So once you match the 4 musts, you have to match another 2 of the boxes as a minimum to be considered for the transplant. The shapes must be in the exact same box, and the exact same colour. The more boxes that match, the better the chance of the transplant being a success. Your boxes will be determined by your genes, which is why a lot of patients receive donations from family members. However, family members don’t always match (like in my case).
Because there are so many different combinations, you have a 1 in 3 million chance of matching with someone else (not including family members). This results in only around 30% of patients ever receiving a transplant.
I’d like to stress that this number could elevate if more people were willing to be donors. It’s not as awful as most would imagine, and I would imagine the end result would be quite rewarding.
On that note, I’d just like to encourage more people from ethnic minorities to donate bone marrow as there is currently a distinct lack of donors for patients of Caribbean, Asian and African origins. The same goes for blood and organs, with thousands of people with rare blood groups dying each year because of the lack of donations.

If you’re now feeling quite generous, you can also sign up to donate your organs after you die. Your organs will be checked and tested after death and you can also choose which organs you would like to donate by signing up to:www.uktransplant.org.uk/ukt/de…
You can do this at any age, but if needs be, consult your parents before signing up. If for some reason you believe that you’ll….need?... your organs after you die and decide you’ll be a knob and not sign up, then I hope you never need a transplant.

In other news, if you happen to be pregnant, you can also donate your baby’s umbilical cord for stem cell harvesting. This offers an alternative to bone marrow transplants and has managed to save over 1000 people in the last year. Unfortunately, there is a long waiting list. Want to make it shorter? Consult your doctor or midwife at your next appointment.

Just remember, at least 7 people die every day due to lack of transplants or transfusions. Let’s try and make a difference people.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconaryiea:
Aryiea Featured By Owner Mar 25, 2014
Wow the umbilical cord is news to me and is something that if I ever (I hope not but say it happens) get pregnant, I will absolutely do. Thanks for this informative shpeal!
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Mar 27, 2014   Writer
Thanks for taking the time to read :)
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:iconworldwar-tori:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014   General Artist
Thank you for writing this; while I'm quite late I love it. The pieces you've included are extremely helpful as well :heart:
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014   Writer
Thanks :D
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:iconworldwar-tori:
WorldWar-Tori Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014   General Artist
no problem :)
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:iconladymortimus:
LadyMortimus Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014  Student General Artist
I tried donating blood at school once, but didn't meet the weight requirements. Hopefully I can donate soon. Thanks for writing this, it's very informative!
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2014   Writer
:D
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:iconkawaiihoshi-san:
kawaiihoshi-san Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2013
thanks for the info, though i couldn't donate blood because im underweight...-w-
ill try to search more on that marrow article..

wish you the best out there
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:iconmasamihayato:
MasamiHayato Featured By Owner Nov 24, 2013
I need to get back into donating blood. I've donated blood whenever possible in the past but the thing that's usually the problem is that i'm classified as "anemic" whenever i go to a blood bank so i get rejected most of the time (i think part of the reason why is because of my abnormal red blood cells, they are smaller than normal) the few times i manage to donate i can't fully function for 2 days but i'm planning to go back regardless.
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2013   Writer
If you have a general problem with anaemia, you should probably just take iron tablets so that your body works better anyway.

I'm glad you'll go back, but think about sorting out your anaemia first.
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:iconmasamihayato:
MasamiHayato Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013
I've tried that... it does absorb the iron but because my red blood cells are smaller than normal i'm still borderline anemic even if i eat plenty of iron rich foods/take iron pills and i take my vitamins regularly. Apparently it's genetics as my mom has the same problem =(
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Nov 27, 2013   Writer
Hmm. Should probs just see a doctor until they actually give you something for that. You can't be feeling great all the time.
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:iconsiniscom:
SinisCom Featured By Owner Oct 9, 2013
Sorry to hear about this, Toby but I think it's great you've used it as an opportunity to spread some awareness about these issues. I've never donated blood myself but I'm now very interested in finding out more about stem cell donation. I'm currently on Warfarin though and will ask whether this might be an issue at my regular blood draw later today.

Also, it might be worth updating your journal concerning age restrictions. Anthony Nolan only accepts ages 16-30, which may discourage some from looking any further. The NHS age range is much larger at 18-49 though.

The FAQ also explains the optional direct bone marrow method, which sounds much less traumatic than the story Megan was relaying. Though not that I'm saying I'm a tough guy who wouldn't back out if it were the only option. I'd just like to think I wouldn't.

www.nhsbt.nhs.uk/bonemarrow/qa…
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013   Writer
I know the restrictions, but my journal is about telling people to donate, not sayng who can't. Also, the needle procedure only happens less than 10% of the time so i don't think it's worth explaining since that'll be explaned when you submit a sample.

I'd like to think that people wouldn't drop out knowing that someone needs them at that point. You'd only do that if there was a match. If you think you'd drop out, don't bother signing up because the patient will start chemo, and if you decided to drop out, they'd be really sick and probably wouldn't recover. So you'd actually shorten their life, and cause a lot of pain and upset in the process.

Maybe that's something i should put in the post...
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:iconsiniscom:
SinisCom Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013
Point. I just meant if there were some reason you were told beforehand that bone marrow was the only option, but that doesn't seem likely at all in the UK. And yeah, you'd have to be some kind of sociopath to back out after an actual match.
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Oct 10, 2013   Writer
It happens, people do it. I know someone who did it, and it took every little bit of strength i have not to scream at them. Safe to say, i've never looked at them the same way though.
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:iconokaygreat:
Okaygreat Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013
Ah that's why you need tea because of the blood donation, sugar levels and so forth. I hope they incorporate the above mentioned procedures here in Africa as I am sure we have tons of matches here (even in taking the AIDS epidemic into account). Unfortunately money is very tight in our health sector and our hospitals are lucky to get asprin. I pray that things do get better for yourself, though I believe you are probably one of the few that truely can see what life is now all about.

All the best.
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2013   Writer
Haha, could be, aye.

Yeah, it's a bit difficult for developing countries, i guess. Thanks for reading
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:iconrosebfischer:
rosebfischer Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Unfortunately I can't donate due to pre-existing health conditions.  I'll fave your journal, though.  Wish I could do more.
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013   Writer
I wish you luck with your health issues :)
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:iconrosebfischer:
rosebfischer Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you.
Reply
:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013
Thanks for posting this!
I've donated blood twice since I turned old enough to dono, but I almost fainted both times.  (Being a writer, at least I took the opportunity to commit to memory my progressive loss of vision and hearing and other such exciting developments.)
I was weak the next day, too.  I admit I've kinda wussed out since then.  Now, I didn't eat enough before my second donation, so I'd suggest telling people to FOR THE LOVE OF GOD EAT before donating.  I don't know what my deal was the first time though.
Didn't know that about marrow!
My organs are available for non-dead people to use after I'm dead.  Except my eyes.  Call me sentimental, I want those to stay in my face and get buried/burned with the rest of my ol' flesh-sack.  For some reason the idea of my own eyeless corpse creeps me out.  Not my own gutted corpse, just the eyeless version.  Nnnnyeeee creeeepy...
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013   Writer
Perhaps eating is your problem there. Maybe the first time it was because your body wasn't ready. My friend who i share this account with has fainted 3 times, one of which was really bad and even caused her to throw up - because she did excessive exercise before her donation. Maybe it could've been that with your first time? I don't know. She still donates because she knows that people who need the blood feel how she felt for those short moments a big part of the time. You can recover after a little rest. We can't.

You know they don't actually take your eyes out, right? It's just the cornea that's transplantable. 
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:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2013
True dat.  I should just get over it and try again.  I know I should.

I read a little bit too much about parts of people's bodies getting jacked to test medical procedures and the like.  There was a whole section about corpses' eyeballs being used to test a new medical procedure and my reaction was, "Oh hell no."
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013   Writer
o.O
I've never heard of that, sounds a bit dodge... was it in some deprived Scandinavian country or was it in the US?  :HORROR:
 
 
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:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
It was in the U.S.
In my state, no less.
So afterwards I was like... 0_0
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013   Writer
Holy shit. That cray cray!
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:icontuesdaynightcompany:
TuesdayNightCompany Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2013
For shizzle!
Reply
:iconmojoliazon:
MojoLiazon Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Professional General Artist
Thanks for clearing up some info. I wish the awareness campaigns were as effective over here in Australia. I have thought about giving blood many times, but not bone marrow. I thought that was some intensive in-hospital thing. I'll get tested but I'm not sure I'd be much use for a few reasons (kidney, liver and heart damage plus some other issues) --- but who knows? I've thought about it for years, might as well find out for sure. 

Wish you all the best with your quest here. I will try to help raise awareness. I hope you get what you need. 
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013   Writer
Thanks for reading :)
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:iconmojoliazon:
MojoLiazon Featured By Owner Oct 6, 2013  Professional General Artist
You're welcome and I wish you all the best.
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:icontheowl68:
TheOwl68 Featured By Owner Sep 26, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Directed here by ~Slug22 ~ Thank you so much for all of this information. I commend you for dispelling much of the misunderstandings about these two procedures and also highlighting the importance of them as well. :hug: You are a generous and courageous soul. :heart: Because I lived in the UK for almost 10 years & I was there during the massive outbreak of 'mad cow disease' I am now ineligible to donate blood =( which sucks. I was a blood donor for many years before relocating, so hopefully I helped in some minute way. Thanks again for this journal entry. It is very much appreciated.
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013   Writer
Thanks for reading :) 
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:icontheowl68:
TheOwl68 Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2013  Hobbyist Digital Artist
You are most welcome! :heart:
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:iconbliood-kira:
Bliood-Kira Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the information. 
Blood i've donated before, but i don't think that our town has that special equipment for extracting bone marrow, i'll ask my medic if she knows something next time when i go to town, but as far as i know we lack a lot of medical equipment.

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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013   Writer
You'd probably have to go somewhere else for bone marrow donation. As it stands, there are only two centres in the UK that do it if you're a non-related donor. It's not something you do regularly, and only 30% of people on the register will ever do it, so it's not necessary to have the equipment in your specific town. You'd only ever donate once, so the centre will probably be in a capital city/really big city.
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:iconmeganlawler94:
MeganLawler94 Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013  Professional Writer
Very informative. Unfortunately, I cannot do either of these things because of medication I took in the past (discussed it with doctors as well as people from the Red Cross).

Question - I know a guy who gave bone marrow, and his hip was drilled into. Do you know why that would be? Is the procedure different, depending on what kind of cancer you're helping to treat?
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013   Writer
His hip won't have been drilled into. He'll have had two long needles inserted into the back of his hip.
The procedure doesn't depend on the type of cancer. Perhaps he had a problem with his veins, or perhaps it was a VERY long time ago. Nowadays, 9/10 people do it through blood. Maybe, he did it both days and the stem cells via the blood method weren't good (this happens very rarely)

But i do assure you, he will not have had a drill into his hip, not if he was donating. Perhaps if he was a patient, he may have had a biopsy (where they take a part of the bone) 
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:iconmeganlawler94:
MeganLawler94 Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013  Professional Writer
It already happened, about two years ago. He was in the hospital for a week and unable to do much movement for a month after that. Maybe it was two long needles, but it struck me odd that he was in so much pain after that. He wasn't the patient; he was the donor.

Strange.
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013   Writer
That's really weird. I don't understand why he'd be in so much pain, or why he'd be kept in the hospital for so long. Normally it'd be overnight for that kind of procedure. Something seems awfully fishy about that...
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:iconmeganlawler94:
MeganLawler94 Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013  Professional Writer
I don't know. I remember that it was a really big deal in my town (he was Person of the Week for the town newspaper and interviewed for our school newspaper), and we were Facebook friends at the time, so I kept up with what was going on. He seemed to be out of commission for quite awhile.
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013   Writer
Hmm, i dunno. Maybe it's a lot different here to over there, or maybe his body reacted differently to it... i don't know.

Good that he did it, though :)
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:iconartbycher:
ArtByCher Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013   Traditional Artist
Very informative. What causes the biggest fear in people is not knowing exactly what is going to happen. I think you just opened up some eyes to how simple this really is. Thank you for sharing :rose:
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 22, 2013   Writer
Happy cry (Tears of joy) 
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:iconmereni:
mereni Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013
I already give blood so next time I am there I'm going to talk to someone about donating bone marrow. :nod: It's a nice feeling knowing that you have probably helped someone and it is definitely worth the biscuit!
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013   Writer
Try also signing up to anthony nolan. Anthony Nolan is world wide whilst the BMUK is obviously just the uk.
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:iconmereni:
mereni Featured By Owner Sep 23, 2013
I'll check that site out, definitely! <3
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:iconhappyaggro:
HappyAggro Featured By Owner Sep 20, 2013
Now, I'm not against blood donation or bone marrow transplants or anything, but there are some extremely glaring things I'd like to point out.

"Or does a gay man have some kind of toxic, disease infested blood? Is it green? Is it yellow? No, it’s not, so stop being a massive arsehole and hiding behind the curtain which you call “rules”."

Yeah, because it's TOTALLY all about gay people and their lack of desire to donate blood or some perceived "rules", it's not like there are a shittona organizations worldwide that ban and/or have some level of stigma against gay blood donors that makes it impossible at worst or difficult at best for them to donate. Nope! It's all about the gays being massive arseholes. I'm sure it's not really as simple as gay people lying either. What if they check public records? What if they manage to get stuck with the one medical professional that is really good at sniffing out BS? I'd think that people wouldn't be making nearly as much of a fuss as they are about overthrowing bans if "just lying about it" was a plausible and common solution. Mind you, you're writing this from the UK perspective, in which some areas don't have an outright ban on gay blood donors, but there IS still currently a deferral process (or at least as far as I've been able to look up, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong on that, I'm not a local). As in, you can't give blood until 12 months after you've had sex, provided you're a guy who has had sex with another guy or a woman who has had sex with a guy who had had sex with a guy. So obviously what you gotta do in this situations is guilt-trip the lesbians into giving blood! There's no pressure on 'em!

Or, more constructively, tell whoever is in charge of all of this blood donation stuff that the deferral is a load of shit in the hopes that maybe they'll agree eventually and take it down. Because you can tell gay people to lie to get around the restriction, but that doesn't change that the restriction is still there.

Asking the lesbians nicely probably wouldn't hurt either.
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:icondailybreadcafe:
DailyBreadCafe Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013   Writer
No, they don't defer, or at least they didnt used to. And no, they dont check public records either. Do you really think the nurses in there are going to go to the effort if you don't come in there with a sign saying "i got bummed last night"?
The actual fact is that most of them don't even agree with the rule, and the recent change is just the beginning of a revolution in healthcare that doesn't discriminate against sexuality. But. The truth is, people like me can't wait for all this bullshit to clear up. I don't physically have the time, so what is there? Sometimes you have to force something forwards. Plenty of people make small lies to get away with things that are illegal, this isn't. I'm guessing that at least 90% of the gays in the world hid it to protect themselves, but then when it comes to doing the same thing to help someone, it's suddenly unacceptable.

I'd just like to say... what are they gonna do if they do find out? (even though they wont because they don't really care) Nothing.
But what will happen if they don't find out? If they dont find out, you've potentially saved 3 lives. Don't you see how important that is?
Reply
:iconhappyaggro:
HappyAggro Featured By Owner Sep 21, 2013
Can you provide me with some proof that they don't defer where you're at? All I've been able to find for the UK implies that, as of 2013, the deferral is still in place.

Also, if people are so overwhelmingly in support of it, then it should work out if they try to abolish the unfair rulings. Yet again, just because one works their way around a restriction doesn't mean that a restriction isn't still there.

And yet again, placing all the blame on a group that has been subjugated for years when it comes down to unfair and outdated restrictions made by health providers. Get these restrictions out of place and then you'll really know for sure if it's a matter of those people being selfish bastards or not.
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