Bleeding Courage

Huria Taj, Reporter

On Friday, October fourth, the KEY club hosted a blood drive; where students and teachers could sign up to donate blood. 

The sign-up process was quite easy. Students had to be at least 16, have valid identification, have parents’ consent, and show up. 

Once the process of signing up is done, the donors simply had to show up and wait until they were called by the nurses. Then, they would be taken to the back where they were asked a series of questions such as: have you left the country in the last three years? If so where?  This was just to make sure that the blood isn’t contaminated.

However, the outcomes of the questions weren’t always in great. Oliver Godfrey, a senior, dealt with some of the repercussions.

 One of the questions that were specifically asked to all donating blood members was “Have you had sex with a man who had sex with a man in the past 12 months.” Godfrey, who identifies with the LGBTQ+ community answered the question truthfully but was unable to donate blood.

When Godfrey was asked about how he felt about the questions being asked, and the relevance of them he said: “ I think most of the screening questions are very necessary but the questions regarding same-sex/gender intercourse are discriminatory and based off fear.” 

One of the biggest issues in America is the rising numbers of STD’s between same-sex partners. When blood is donated, a small sample is always tested to make sure it’s clear of any diseases or pathogens that may harm a patient later on. 

However, whilst talking to a nurse (who said she’d rather be anonymous due to the fact that she doesn’t want her hospital to see this), she said “We aren’t testing for STDs necessarily. More like cancers, or something like irregularities. If you get what I mean. So that stuff can be overlooked.” 

By asking these questions, it prevents the risks of the blood being contaminated.

  Throughout it all, Godfrey still remains hopeful, that in March, or whenever the next hosted blood drive is, he’ll be able to donate.

Godfrey and others that have to go through this process have the courage to still look at the benefits.

For those people who could donate, they got down at their scheduled time, and it was made quite clear early on that they needed to eat as much as they could, and chug water. Behind the room where the blood donations were happening, were roughly five seats. Students would occupy these seats before entering into the room where you’d know that you had about thirty minutes left. You could see the panic on student’s faces. The sixteen gauge needles scared them.

There were a lot of factors as to why students donated. 

Tessa Giles, a Junior, donated due to her personal connections of family members needing blood. “ I just like service in general, but like, also, my grandma has leukemia. She gets blood transplants [transfusions] and I guess me doing this is like Im helping her. In an Indirect way, but, it still feels good”.  

Others, like social studies teacher, and Rho Kappa Advisor Curtis White said he donated to help others. “ I donated blood because I wanted to help others who might be in a situation where they need blood to survive. I was told that three lives are saved with each blood donation. That incredible.”

Though some didn’t want to admit, they were doing it just for the community service… like myself. 

Throughout the hours of waiting to get blood, an abundance of people were passing out. One girl, who doesn’t want to be named, started to cry before standing up and falling on the ground. Nurses rushed over her and put a cooling towel on her forehead while giving her snacks to make sure she was okay.

Another student, male, who also prefers to stay anonymous, stood up before passing out and hit his head on a fan before falling. 

The Blood Drive was a successful event. Almost everyone who signed up donated blood. Just one pint, two cups of blood can save up to three lives. 

So the next time you watch Grey’s Anatomy, or House, just remember, those bags of blood that they are using, are indeed donated.