My mother

September 10, 2009

My mother needs a unique form of blood platelets to have some kind of chance to last a little longer. Her sisters are the most likely to have a match. Her children have a less likely chance to match. Unlucky for her, her sisters were not a match but luckily, she has seven children.

My sisters tried. One isn’t a match and the other didn’t have the right amount of blah blah blah. A doctor told me today to get tested. I didn’t think I could since it involves blood, and gay men aren’t allowed to donate. I went to the donation site where my grandmother was there, speaking with an admistrator.

The lady kept speaking in circles and I was insistent that I understood that it’s different from a blood donation, that my mother would be the designee, that it’s not a test for bone marrow, etc. The nurse took me into the back and started asking me the list of questions.

“Have you had a tattoo?”

“Have you had a transfusion in the UK or France in the past 12 months?”

“Since 1977, have you had sex with a man? When?” ………….. She told me I would be listed as a permanent deferral. She told me that I would not be allowed to donate. She told me to check back another time because the laws with the FDA are always changing. I stared blankly at her and looked at my hand on the table. My shaking hand. I pressed it to the table to make it stop. My mind raced. Should I have lied? Could I have a standoff with the clinic? Would they possibly help, understanding that I’m not a real risk and that I’m clean? The nurse interrupted my thoughts.

“Is there anything I can do?”

I looked into her eyes and half-whispered, “My mom is dying.”

“I know.”

I left.



  1. Oh, Paul…. I’m so sorry…

    Is there anything I can do for you? Or your family?

  2. Paul,

    I am so sorry. I had a similar situation 10 years ago when my mother was dying of cancer. The law is stupid and founded on outdated information and data.

    You are in my thoughts and prayers.

    – V

  3. I am so sorry! If there is anything I can do to help….please let me know!

  4. I saw this on my friend Annie’s FB and I was outraged….I’m so sorry!

  5. Where can I go to get tested to see if I’m a match?

  6. Paul Hun, it sucks that a lot of this world is still cruel to those who only believe in helping others. U let us know what we need to do and we will do it a 110%

  7. This sounds incredibly inadequate, but I’m so so sorry. I can’t believe they’d rather stick to the stupid donation ban than let you even get tested.

    If there’s anything at all I can do, let me know.

  8. Pauly,

    I’m so sorry to hear this! It’s devastating. Please call when you have a minute. I’m thinking about you.

  9. Hello Paul,
    I have been a platelet donor for years. Anyone reading this, please donate blood; but, if you really want to help donate platelets, like O neg blood, can be given to anyone 99% of the time. Yes, in some cases like Paul’s mom their are some other factors; however, if it were your loved one that needed blood, platelets, organs, you would expect someone to step up.

    Paul I am sorry for you,r your family, and those that love your mom. I am told I have awesome platelets and I usually donate every two weeks. Another good point readers.. platelets can be harvested every two weeks and in some cases, like mine double and triple units have been retreived each time.

    Prayers to you and yours Paul.

  10. Paul, you are braver than any person I have ever known. I am constantly thinking and praying for you and your family.

  11. Paul,

    I just read this. My thoughts and prayers are with you. What can anyone do other than offer good wishes in a case like this, espcially someone you barely know. However, if there was- or is- anything at all, you have but to ask.

    Take care.


  12. Paul,

    I feel like I sound like a broken record to you. All I can say is that I’m sorry you are hurting and if there was anything I could do to fix it, I would.

    I HATE this. I can not believe that stupid bulls**t still happens like this. I’m in shock right now.

    Stay strong cousin. As for me, I’m getting my baseball bat and coming down to see you…

    Where can me and Dave go get tested?

    I love you.

  13. Please donate if you are capable. Please read Paul’s latest blog for details. We appreciate it.

    Thanks and much love.

  14. […] attempted to donate platelets, but because he is gay, was refused. Well, technically, just because he had sex with a man since 1977. To say that I’m outraged by […]

  15. I love you honey

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