By Vicky Liu ’20
There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. —Edith Wharton
On Friday November 10th, 2017, from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, the semi-annual blood drive for the American Red Cross took place in the Linton Gym. FCS collected 38 pints of whole blood (WB) and two units of red blood cells (2RBC) in total thanks to the devotion of around 50 students, faculty, staff, and parents who all volunteered to donate, plus the Red Cross and our school-sponsored Blood Drive Committee. This made FCS a leading blood contributor in the local community.
At Friend’s Central, we are fortunate to never be short of folks who are willing to serve. Katherine Leone ’19, one of the co-organizers of the blood drive committee, is one of these people. Katherine explains the pints of blood are used to either directly save lives or for research. She says that generally it takes between eight and 16 minutes to donate blood. However, the time varies from person to person depending on whether someone is dehydrated or if they have low blood pressure. She especially notes that donating blood can help donors replenish their blood systems, stimulate blood cell production, and maintain individual heart and liver health. It can even help donors lose weight! While I wonder what the process entails for donors, she explains, “All donors need to do is sign in, have their temperature taken, talk to a nurse, have their health situation and iron level checked, provide list of places they have recently traveled to, and wait for needles or machines to settle.”
“There was no hurt in the process, only like a pinch on my arm, and no headache afterwards. I saw the procedure at first and turned my head away because I was getting bored,” says Zak Loudini ’19, a donor from Friday’s blood drive. Zak donated WB this time and will try the 2RBC for the next one. 2RBC possesses higher concentration than WB, which facilitates the receiving process of the blood system during an excessive loss of blood. However, 2RBC has certain height and weight restrictions for different genders, for example males must be over 110 lbs to donate. The way of collecting 2RBC is worth mentioning, as it uses a machine to magically strip red cells out of the blood and to put the rest back. Zak reflects, “If I keep healthy and donate blood twice a year from the age of 20 until 65, I can possibly give out 90 pints of blood, good enough to save one life dying from car accident!”
Carolyn Kelly ‘19, who also participated the blood drive, shares her enthusiasm, saying, “I thought since I’m able to do it (by having attained the age limits), I should do it.” She devoted a pint of WB and underwent the entire procedure. Due to the fact that this blood drive was her first one, Carolyn admits she got a bit nervous, but was more consumed with excitement. She explains, “The large amount of blood coming out from my body makes a memorable visual impact. But, seeing the square-shaped bag filled with blood makes me notice my help as a great deal.” After about 13 minutes of discomfort, though, Carolyn enjoyed the feeling of knowing she helped someone who really needed it. In addition, she is quite proud of herself for embracing new things in life courageously. She also plans to continue donating blood. She shares, “Next year, I’ll definitely do it again.”
By talking to these brave people who generously donated blood, I have developed an appreciation for the cause. I hope to be part of it when I am old enough, and encourage others to do so as well.