Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Reader With Hepatitis C Can't Give Blood With Friends

DEAR HARRIETTE: A lot of my friends have decided to give blood, and they want to do it together as a sign of solidarity. This was precipitated by a request that was sent out by the American Red Cross. My friends, who are all college students or in the first years of work, say they could use the extra cash they will get. Plus, they will be doing good.

I looked into it, and I don’t think the Red Cross pays for blood. I read that some companies do, but that’s not even my issue. A few years ago, I was infected with hepatitis C. My health is under control now, but I’m sure my blood will be rejected. My friends don’t know my status, and I don’t really want to tell them. I also do not want to join them for their trip to the blood bank. What can I say to them? -- No Blood

DEAR NO BLOOD: Encourage your friends to give blood, as it is true that there is almost always a need for clean blood to be available for injured or ill people. At the same time, tell them that you will not be joining them. You can say that you learned years ago that it doesn’t work for you to give. You can say you tried before and were rejected. You can stop talking about it after that. There is no need for you to share your health status.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)

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