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Needle Phobia? You're Not Alone....But You Can Still Donate Blood

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Maybe you're one of the people who always wanted to donate blood, but something is stopping you. Fear of needles is common, (medical experts estimate around 10% of the population is affected), but it's conquerable. Needle phobics at Inland Northwest Blood Center say the only way to get over it is to roll up your sleeve and get poked.

"I still get a little bit anxious, but doing this helps," blood donor Herb Boreson says.

As pastor at Gateway Church, Boreson is a first-time sponsor of a community blood drive, but he's a regular blood donor. He's also afraid of needles.

"Kind of ashamed to say I was too scared to give blood," Boreson says of an instance several years ago. "I had a daughter that had to have a blood transfusion when she was 12 years old, she had to have blood for a surgery. That's something that's always in the back of my mind that always encouraged me."

Boreson was too scared to donate for his daughter's back surgery then, even though he was a match, but he never stopped wanting to conquer that fear. With his daughter now fully recovered, Boreson says it's that memory of being on the need side of blood donation that pushed him to give.

"You not only get over that fear, but you're also helping others in need. That was my thing because that fear bothered me," he explains.

He keeps coming back - about three times a month. "Give it more than less," he says of those frequent trips to INBC. The repetition calms the nerves as he makes himself sit in the chair and roll up his sleeve. He says the longer he waits, the more the fear builds between visits. It also helps to have a pro giving you the poke.

"They get it. They get what fear is, they see it a lot so it's really important that you're treated gently in that process and they do that here [at Inland Northwest Blood Center."] Herb says he's found a phlebotomist at INBC who he likes, and he actually requests her to do all his donations because she puts him at ease.

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