Photo by: Nick Conley
Every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood. Oklahoma Christian University provides an opportunity for students to participate in fulfilling this need.
Oklahoma Christian will hold its semiannual blood drive on Feb. 12 in the student center.
“This blood drive directly replenishes the Oklahoma Blood Bank, which is the bank that any of us as students or employees can benefit from,” Student Activities Coordinator Summer Lashley said.
Many students have experienced the process of donating blood before; however, some differ in their reasoning behind donating.
“I’ve given [blood] at least three times, but I’ve attempted more than that,” senior Heather Jesch said. “For every person who gives blood, three adults or five babies are saved; that alone gives me reason.”
Jesch also said she experienced the importance of donating blood when she was growing up.
“My dad was a big believer in helping out the Red Cross by donating blood every six months or so while I was growing up,” Jesch said. “He would sometimes take me with him, and I thought it was so cool that my dad saved lives.”
Senior Kayla Cook provided another unique take on giving blood.
“I have never given blood before for a blood bank,” Cook said. “I was diagnosed with Lymphoma at 18, and because of chemotherapy treatments, I will not be able to donate blood for several years; however, I would like to give blood when I am able. Being a nursing student and also a patient, I understand that when someone is in need of blood, it can be the only thing to save someone’s life.”
Going through chemotherapy, Cook experienced a time where the donation of blood helped save a friend’s life.
“I have a friend who was also going through chemotherapy treatments that needed blood from another person just so that new cells could be created,” Cook said. “The blood he was given was part of what saved his life, because he was able to create new cells from it.”
Lashley noted the relevance of the blood drive taking place semiannually.
“Donating blood is an act of service,” Lashley said. “And OC takes service seriously; it is our highest calling.”
Senior Stanton Yeakley said he agrees it is important for Oklahoma Christian to continue the blood drive on campus.
“I believe that here at OC the blood drive takes place in order to encourage students to start giving blood while they are young, so that they will form a habit of doing it,” Yeakley said.
As a nursing major, Jesch has been on the other side of the spectrum of giving and drawing blood.
“We’ve actually practiced drawing blood on each other before,” Jesch said. “Honestly, it’s a little nerve-wracking to aim a needle at one of my friend’s veins and pray that I get it right without too much pain for her. Of course, it’s also a wee bit scary to have a novice going for my veins, too.”
Jesch said service is prevalent in nursing, and donating blood is a good way to give back.
“It’s almost an unwritten rule to go and give of yourself in that way as a nurse to ease the suffering of those we are called to care for,” Jesch said. “I know that I want there to be blood available for my family and I, so I ought to also give so that there can be blood available for others’ families.”
Lashley said it is important to come out to donate blood.
“I would encourage everyone to participate in the blood drive, because someday it could be you that needs it,” Lashley said.