Cerritos College attracts blood donors

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Patrick Dolly

A nurses assistant (right) prepares to draw blood from administration of justice major, Kelly Willis (left).This was Willis’ first time donating blood.

Patrick Dolly and Patrick Dolly

Students gave a high turnout for the first two days of the fall semester’s Red Cross Blood Drive.

“I wanted to help save lives. It was a little [nerve-racking] waiting, but if you know what the cause is for it’s all good.”

This was administration of justice major Kelly Willis’ thoughts of the process.

The American Red Cross travels the country providing opportunities for blood donors to donate blood.

Nicholas Samaniego, spokesman for the American Red Cross, spoke about the difference between donating to the Red Cross compared to one of the other blood donation centers.

“Giving blood is one of the most personal and most rewarding experiences that most people can go through. To know that a part of you is going to touch the lives of several people with one donation.”

Samaniego went on to say, “Along with touching up to three different lives with one donation, you are supporting one of the most trusted and recognized symbols in the world in working with the American Red Cross.”

Students expressed a wide variety of reasons for why they chose to donate blood. Statistics major Dike Ezenekwe explained his reason for donating.

“I was in line yesterday, but I had to go home, so I just came back today so I can give blood. Initially, it was for the free food but then you see how many lives you’re impacting, which is what it’s all about.”

The Red Cross is looking to rebound from a less than favorable summer in which donations were much lower than expected.

Currently, the Red Cross has approximately a few hours worth of certain blood types for the entire Southern California area, but needs about seven days of blood supply to meet a need in case of unexpected events.

Officials of the Red Cross expect for Cerritos College to collect over 350 pints of blood this week alone, which will help the overall blood supply, and equals almost 1000 lives in community hospitals.

The four blood types, which are type A, type B, type AB, and type O, are all needed as there is a constant need for each type, but type O is possibly the highest priority because it is the only type that is universal, meaning it can be used for anyone.

For those that do not know what blood type they are, the Red Cross will test blood types free of charge.

Rob Torrez, senior field manager for the American Red Cross, addressed the value of Cerritos students to the blood donation process.“Cerritos has great students that come from great high schools in our surrounding area who are very responsible in helping our community.”

The blood drive will run until Thursday on campus, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.