BY MARIA BRESCIA-WEILER, FEATURES EDITOR
Today, 60 Wilson students showed up in the auxiliary gym to donate blood. This is the fourth year that Wilson has held a blood drive, a SCIMATEC event started by Manuela Bayon ‘14 in her sophomore year.
This year, senior Jordan Bretzfelder took charge, with the help of several other student volunteers. “It’s important that someone does this because there is no substitute for blood if someone needs it,” says Bretzfelder.
Bretzfelder described her role as “mainly just dealing with miscommunications between the school administration and the Red Cross, and then organizing the space and getting it ready.” The event took place in the auxiliary gym where beds and screening cubicles were set up for donors and student volunteers passed out snacks, water bottles and t-shirts provided by the Red Cross for participants.
The value of such an event is undisputed, both for donors and those receiving the donated blood. Each donor gives one pint of blood, or enough to save three lives. There are ten pints of blood in a human body so the loss of blood has minimal impact on the donor.
Senior and donor Jacquit Randriambololona said of his experience, “I feel like a hero after doing it. I’m saving lives.”
While many students were nervous about donating and felt light-headed after doing it senior Max Cooper had a positive experience as well. “Everyone was very nice, it didn’t take that long, it didn’t hurt that much,” he said.
Above: Jacquit Randriambololona (12) and Max Cooper (12) donate blood.
Two students passed out but both were quickly aided by the Red Cross nurses.
The theme of the day, for many students, seemed to be deferral. Because of the intense screening process less than half of the 60 students who showed up were able to donate. Many students were deferred due to such complications as excessively high heart rate or body temperature, excessively low iron, having lived in Europe for five or more years, and failure to meet the height and weight requirements.
Bretzfelder could not participate because she does not meet the age requirement–she will be 17 in December. Bretzfelder had her hands plenty full without being a donor herself and is now looking ahead to the May 20 blood drive as well as finding a junior to run the blood drives after she graduates.
PHOTO BY SARAH TORRESEN