UMO plans blood drive to help Red Cross

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The need for blood is constant.

The University of Mount Olive, in conjunction with the American Red Cross, urgently seeks donors of all blood types to donate either blood or platelets.

The school has planned a blood drive Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. inside the Pope Wellness Center on the UMO campus. The goal is to collect 32 or more units of O positive, O negative, A negative and B negative blood.

Kourtney Chumbley, director of student-athlete development at UMO, said she has met with the Student Athlete Advisory Committe (SAAC) and stressed the importance of how many lives can be saved with donations. Campus-wide emails have been distributed to the faculty and administration, and alumni have been informed through various social media platforms.

Chumbley said 42 spots are available. Donors may register online at redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code “MOUNT OLIVE.”

According to the American Red Cross, donors must present either a donor’s card or valid driver’s license. Eligible donors must be at least 17, or 16 years old with a signed parental/guardian consent where states permit.

Donors must weigh at least 110 pounds and be in general good health.

“I think giving blood is a lot less scary than people think and a much easier process because everyone is there to help you and because they know the impact that your 30 minutes or an hour has on another person’s life because they see that first hand,” Chumbley said. “They walk you through the entire process so you never feel alone or scared.”

The American Cancer Society states that patients fighting cancer use more blood than patients fighting any other disease. Unfortunately, there aren’t enough people donating to regularly meet the need and help those patients receive the vital treatments necessary to extend their life.

Numbers released by the ARC say that 17 million donations – nearly 23 million blood products – are transfused to five million patients a year.

“A first-time blood donor, I would tell them it’s worth it,” Chumbley said. “The effect that you’re having is far more reaching than any type of time restraint you are worried about, or fear or discomfort. The impact is greater than the reasons than not to do it.”

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