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Bloody October

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Lizbeth Alegria relaxes while donating blood (Clarion photo by Keegan Morris)

By Saeri Plagmann, Clarion Staff

Every so often, Kennedy gets the opportunity to take part in the blood drive, where anyone age 16 or older and weighs at least 110 pounds can donate a pint of their blood. This year on October 12, many took advantage of this opportunity. Of course being able to possibly save someone’s life is one thing, but donors also found the blood drive to be something that can benefit them personally.

The process of the blood drive is orderly and perfectly safe. Everyone must go through a physician first to get their physical check, followed up by answering a few questions based on their health history. All donors are informed to drink plenty of fluids and to eat a healthy and sodium packed meal before having their blood drawn to prevent dizziness and fainting. After the required checks, the process of donating blood begins.

Ariana Samaniego, a senior at JFK, was one of the first volunteers to begin the donation. This was not her first time donating blood and it makes her feel good to help the lives of others. When asked why else she chose to donate, she says, “I wanted to get over my fear of needles.” As a result, the blood drive was a win-win situation.

Although a majority of donors were students, administrators and others who work on campus participated in the blood drive as well. A cook at JFK, who has donated eleven to twelve times in the past, says, “I think it’s a good experience, you get to help people in need. You never know if it’s a loved one (that will need blood).” She also includes that it’s a calm setting and the nurses are all very friendly, which will hopefully further encourage people to do their part in donating blood.

For those who didn’t participate in the blood drive, it was evident that many shared a common reason: a fear of needles. It is true that majority of the population has a phobia of having sharp things stuck into them along with the pain that follows. However,

Jose Marte, one of JFK’s campus safety monitors says, “It doesn’t hurt, it just feels like a pinch.” Although many people will not be convinced unless they experience it for themselves, Jose is a donor who has given blood since 1982. It is very unlikely that donor returners will volunteer every year to give blood if the process was painful. Nevertheless, Jose expresses his point of view towards those who don’t donate blood by saying, “They think ‘Oh, its just one pint of blood,’ but even one pint can go a long way”.

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A group of students waits their turn to make a deposit in the “blood bank” (Clarion photo by Selia Evans)

According to Brookhaven National Laboratory, 4.5 million Americans can die every year without the blood transfusions. Every day 32,000 pints of blood are used, and just one pint can save as many as three people’s lives. It is evident from these facts that volunteering to donate blood goes beyond a good cause, and it will prove to be a good experience to those who take the time to save a life.

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