The Student Nursing Association, the Zeta Tau chapter of Kappa Alpha Order and the American Red Cross saved a potential 180 lives with the Delete Blood Cancer blood drive on Wednesday, April 8, and Thursday, April 9, in the Foy Fitness Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
According to Ashlee Dover, president of the SNA, 63 people donated blood.
“Donating blood takes about an hour of your time and could help save up to three lives,” Dover said.
Freshman mathematics major Stephanie Ruddell had never given blood before, but felt it was time to try. “I feel like I need to face this fear, and it seems like something I should do,” Ruddell said.
Also at the blood drive was Crystal Navarro, a donor recruitment associate for the Delete Blood Cancer organization. She said her role in the blood drive was to add people to the National Marrow Donor Program.
“When there is a blood cancer patient and chemotherapy fails, typically their best chance for survival is a bone marrow transplant,” Navarro said. However, people can only find a match within their own family 30 percent of the time. The remaining 70 percent of the time patients must rely on total strangers.
“Their doctor searches the registry to find a match,” Navarro said. “Adding donors to the registry helps increase people’s odds of finding a match.”
“75 percent of the time, donors are asked to donate stem cells, while the other 25 percent of the time, they are asked to donate bone marrow,” Navarro said.
This blood drive is one of two SNA sponsored drives happening each semester.
By contrast, alumnus Kevin Alexis said he has given blood a multiple times. “I feel it’s an easy way to help save lives, so why wouldn’t I do it?”