Marquette University is known for its dedication to serving the greater Milwaukee area. This reputation was seen in action last Wednesday as students, faculty and staff flocked to the Alumni Memorial Union to donate blood.
The blood donated is processed by The BloodCenter of Wisconsin and is distributed to hospitals in Southeastern Wisconsin.
Deborah Kossoris, an account representative for the BloodCenter, helps coordinate the event. She encourages everyone to try and donate.
“Giving blood is the greatest volunteer opportunity you can do… anyone can write a check, but this requires you to give up that hour of time,” said Kossoris.
The hour of time spent donating one pint of blood can save up to three adult lives or the lives of six infants.
Ali Myszewski, an assistant director at the Alumni Memorial Union, works alongside Kossoris to organize two campus- wide blood drives each year. There are also drives held by residence halls and different organizations across campus. However, the largest drive is always the All University Blood Drive. It aims to collect between 150 and 200 pints of blood each year. That means that if the AMU met its goal, Marquette could be instrumental in saving up to six hundred adult lives, in a little less than one day.
First time donor Meaghan Kaupe, a College of Communication sophomore, said donating blood on Wednesday allowed her to save lives with minimal effort. She said the event made her feel like a “laid-back superhero.” She said that it is the simplest way to help someone and that there is no reason not to.
Although some may see donating blood as frightening, the whole process is rather simple. Donors sign in as they enter the ballroom and then are asked a series of questions by a nurse.
A rather painless finger prick follows to test the iron level of the potential donor’s blood, and if the iron level is high enough, the donors begin having their blood drawn. The actual donation time takes less than ten minutes, and the only pain most donors experience is a sting and a pinch as the needle is inserted.
On Wednesday, most donors reported that the entire process took less than 40 minutes.
Of those interviewed, none reported any side effects from the process. Becca Rusk, a freshman majoring in exercise science and physical therapy, donated for her first time on Wednesday. She said her donation was a good experience. She did not feel inconvenienced whatsoever by the donation process. To prepare to give blood, Rusk took iron tablets and drank extra water leading up to the event.
This fall blood drive was a great success. The final count was 119 donations. Although this was not as high as BloodCenter had originally hoped, Myzewski remained positive.
“Whether a drive has 20 donations or 200 donations, I would consider it a success as any amount is an appreciated amount,” Myzewski said.
The blood raised by the Marquette community will be instrumental in saving lives and those who donated know they were heroes for a day. So mark your calendar for February 14, 2008, and get ready for the next All University Blood Drive.
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