BSM has hosted a biannual blood drives for the at least the past 20 years. This year’s fall blood drive is coming up on Tuesday, November 7. Coordinated by NHS members and seniors Ben Larson, Olivia Pohlen, and Meghan Olk, this upcoming blood drive will be unlike any other blood drive in the past.
Being on the NHS blood drive committee Larson, Olk, and Pohlen were required to attend an information meeting at the Children’s Hospital in Abbot on October 6. There they met with Memorial Blood Drive coordinators and about 10 other schools.
Throughout the day, the NHS members listened to speakers and did some role-playing activities. One story that resonated with Pohlen was about a senior girl who played for Blaine’s Girl’s Hockey Team. She had a rare type of leukemia for about two years and had to get lots of blood transfusions throughout her treatment. “Her mom actually came to [the hospital] and told the story of all the different blood transfusions. Her first time in the hospital she had about 48 transfusions in the span of a week or two. The story was just really powerful to hear about,” Pohlen said.
This past week, Memorial Blood drive ran a blood typathon during lunch. Pohlen, Olk, and Larson organized this to “peak some interest” in donating blood. If a student is considering donating blood, there are certain requirements to keep in mind. The first being a donor must be 16 years old or older. Also, donors must exceed the weight requirement for their height. If students or faculty fit those two requirements, they are eligible to sign up for any time to donate during lunch. For those who decide to donate, it’s recommended that they sign up during their free hour and attend that time slot.
For those who are nervous about giving blood, all three NHS members on the blood drive committee have donated blood in the past and have some advice to give. “The scariest part is the anxiety beforehand. You barely feel the needle going in or out. It’s just like you’re sitting in a chair having a conversation for 5 minutes then it’s over,” Pohlen said.
The blood drive will be on Tuesday, November 7, and everyone is encouraged to donate. “Just think about how many people—you can get three transfusions from one donation. So, that’s three lives saved just by you donating that one bag,” Olk said.