TJ held its first blood drive in recent years, and Spartans were able to give back to those in need.
January is blood donation month, and on January 27th TJ students, staff, and faculty were able to participate by donating blood to those in need. TJ’s health clinic partnered with the Bonfils Blood Center, a local organization devoted to blood and bone marrow donations. The blood drive was hosted at TJ, and Spartans were able to learn what it’s like to donate.
Donating blood is a unique way to help those in need. Blood donations can help cancer patients, burn victims, car accident victims, and other patients. Once it is donated, processed, tested and stored, blood can go to any patient who needs it. In order to participate, donors must be 18 years of age, or 16 or 17 with parental consent, and be in good general health. More than 45 million patients need blood transfusions in the U.S. and Canada each year, which is why it’s so important that people give blood.
Before they had their blood drawn, the donors had to complete a few preliminary steps. They completed a questionnaire and underwent a general health screening, after which they had their blood drawn. Spanish teacher Nina Barber recalled, “While it’s happening, you really don’t feel anything, and afterwards you feel fine.” Once enough blood was taken, donors were given snacks and drinks, and relaxed until they felt good enough to leave.
Although they do not receive anything in return, most donors give blood simply because they want to help people. Nurse Deb Samuels mentioned, “The best thing about giving blood is that you could help save someone’s life, and it’s nice to give back.” Similarly, Barber said, “It’s a really easy way to help somebody. It takes very little time, and it saves a life.”
In most cases, getting blood drawn is perfectly safe. However, many people have misconceptions about giving blood, which may prevent them from donating. “Donating blood is safe. Sterile, disposable supplies are used once and safely discarded after each donation,” said Sarah Miller, Community Donor Representative for Bonfils. “Blood donation is one of the easiest ways to volunteer and most donors feel great afterwards knowing that they’ve helped save lives.” Junior Ayla Ensz added, “I was really nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but after it happened it wasn’t as scary as I thought it was going to be.”
TJ had an impressive turnout for the blood drive: 45 people registered to give blood, 28 of whom were first time donors. Bonfils collected 25 units of blood, each unit being approximately a pint, which will be given to local hospitals. Since each donation has the potential to save the lives of up to three people, it is possible that TJ students, staff, and faculty will save the lives of 75 people. Bonfils and TJ’s health clinic are grateful for every donation, and hope that this year’s blood drive will motivate others to donate in the future.
Students interested in donating can contact Bonfils at 303-363-2300 to schedule an appointment at one of their centers or mobile blood drives.