Students Donate Pint of Life

The Memorial Blood Centers bus arrived at MCTC Tuesday, September 25th, collecting blood from students and faculty to give back to the community.
David Lewis, the Memorial Blood Centers’ Team Supervisor said 54 people had signed up for the drive, but “there are a lot of walk-ins.” Memorial Blood Centers has been coming to MCTC annually, normally setting up in the bus outside. This year the drive was held in 2nd level Student Center in the Philip C. Helland Building. Lewis said the indoor location should be good for visibility, with so many students passing through.
A donor, Rachel Schneider, said it was her 2nd time giving blood. She was a walk-in, and said she started out with a small interview and was then brought to the chair. “I was a little nervous at first,” she said, “and I get a little woozy watching the needle and the blood coming through the tube,” but the nurse covered it from sight and then she felt fine. “Sometimes your hand will go numb and you’ll get the pins and needles thing, or you might feel a small prick” but overall she said it wasn’t painful.
It varies from person to person how one might react, some taking longer to recover than others. Schneider said she takes a bit longer than most, and “at 5pm I’ll want to take a nap and sleep until morning.”
“It’s very important to give something back to the community.” With natural disasters occurring and people getting hurt in accidents, “without things like this we’d be in far worse shape.” This is her way of saying, “I stand behind life, in a way.” Having grown up in a community where people helped one another, it seemed a perfectly natural thing for Schneider to do.
Cassie Johnson, a student at MCTC, said she had never before donated, although she always thought about it. “Why not? Why not help if you can?” she said. Although she was a little nervous waiting in line, she seemed calm and prepared. “I’m trying to watch what’s going to happen” she said, looking to her left at the donors in the stretchers. “But I’m also trying not to.” Even though she hadn’t yet donated, Johnson said “I’m sure I’ll probably do it again.”
Giving blood is “healthy for you,” stated Lewis. It releases toxins, refreshes blood cells and regenerates new, fresh blood,” said Lewis. He went on to say that it’s also good community service, benefiting recipients of the new blood.
One pint of blood is broken down into platelets, plasma, and red blood cells, each serving a different purpose to help separate individuals. It only takes between 6 and 10 minutes to donate, with the whole process taking roughly 45 minutes.
Anyone over 17 who’s feeling healthy can give blood. It’s important to prepare by getting a good night’s sleep, eating well and drinking plenty of water.