American Red Cross and Be the Match seek out student donors

Natasha Molina

Language and interpretation major Genivee Rivera has a personal reason to donate blood and expressed how it important it is to be able to donate.

“I decided to donate blood after my grandfather who suffered from having thin blood needed to have some donated.

“People may think that donating blood only helps out on a small scale, but in the long run it helps with the bigger picture of saving people’s lives,” she said.

The American Red Cross has come back this Spring semester to help collect blood donations for those in need.

The Blood Drive was held the week of Monday, Jan. 30th to Thursday, Feb. 2nd from 9:30a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Criminal justice major, Arnold Aldana, accompanied Rivera and has been a donor in the past.

“People need blood three times more than what is available, with such little rations available its important to donate and be able to help out,” Aldana mentioned.

Fallon Washington, a pharmacy major has been a volunteer for the American Red Cross since 2016.

“I do not meet the requirements to be able to donate so I decided that volunteering was a way that I could give back and help.”

Washington mentioned that Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks hockey coupons were available as encouraging incentives to get eligible students to donate.

Sandra Rodriguez, a phlebotomist who has been working with Red Cross for 20 years said, “I really enjoy working for the Red Cross the atmosphere of being around healthy people who want to help out makes the experience great.”

Throughout the week the Red Cross’ goal was to have around 33 donations a day.

Accompanying the American Red Cross for only four days was Be the Match, the National Marrow Donor Program.

Tai Nguyen, a volunteer of Be the Match, explained the importance of registering to be able to be a blood marrow donor.

“Not everyone is an eligible donor. Usually eligible donors for blood marrow are siblings, but when they are not patients have to rely on this database. It could be months or even years to be called to donate, but having your information within the registry could lead to saving a person’s life one day,” Nguyen expresses.

Within the four days of being there Nguyen mentioned that there were about ten people who registered a day.

Upon registering, BTM will collect a sample send it for testing and will keep it for any future need.

If someone is eligible they will receive a call and will need to have a physical examination done before proceeding with the donation.

There are two types of donations that could be given; one is peripheral blood stem cells and marrow.

PBSC is a nonsurgical procedure that works similarly like donating blood.

A marrow donation is a surgical procedure that will need anesthesia.

For more information on becoming a volunteer or registering visit bethematch.org