Donate to Make a Difference

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Submitted by Nour Rajha

Nour Rahja's mother went through chemo therapy and various times her blood levels would go down making her anemic; this occurs when one has low hemoglobin and iron in one's blood. Nour Rahja and her two younger sisters sophomore Maria Rahja and Alisa Rahja.

Shanelle Diaz-Cruz, Journalist

It’s that time of year where University Preparatory hosts a blood drive in order to help those in need and save lives. 

For senior Nour Rajha, donating blood is very important to her because unfortunately her mother has stage 4 lung and bone cancer and has had to get various blood transfusions throughout the year, “My mom has stage four lung and bone cancer in combination with chemotherapy [which] frequently brought her blood levels down, making her anemic. She used to get weekly blood tests to make sure her blood levels [do not] go too low. If her blood levels went too low, she would have to miss chemotherapy and get a blood transfusion. If she got chemo while her blood levels were really low, she would be sent to the ER because her body couldn’t handle it and she would be in excruciating pain. Getting the blood transfusions helped her avoid that problem and I think over the course of a year she got a blood transfusion 4-6 times.” 

Rajha strongly believes that it is important for people that are able to donate to do so, “I do think it is important to donate, especially if you are O+ because that is the most common blood type because it saves lives regardless of what the receivers’ situation [is].” With donating blood, many people are able to gain a fulfilling experience, “Donating blood is also a very rewarding experience; you feel like you made a difference. I have donated twice before and the second time is just as rewarding as the first.”

Nora Carlin
Pamela Carlin’s father went through a work accident and had to receive more that four pints of blood, which is half of the average of how much blood humans carry in their bodies.

Many others, like senior Pamela Carlin, have also gone through a situation where a loved one has had to get a blood transfusion. For Carlin, her father went through an unfortunate work accident where he had to get a blood transfusion, “My dad got into a work accident while he was removing a ticket item. While he was removing a mirror, it shattered and exploded towards him, cutting his arm. Thankfully, his partner was an army veteran and was able to do a tourniquet. If it wasn’t for him, my dad wouldn’t be alive because he lost a lot of blood and the ambulance took a while to get there. So he went to one hospital first and they put four pints of blood but the wound was so bad they said they didn’t have the appropriate tools to help him so they took him to the hospital of USC and put more pints of blood but they didn’t tell him how much blood he got.” 

Carlin agrees that it’s important to donate blood; she and her family have always donated and she encourages others because of the impact it has on people’s lives. “I believe that it’s important to donate; my family has always donated, especially my sister since she’s type O and can help everyone. I also encourage others to donate because they can actually make a difference and a lot of people don’t donate because they think it’s a waste of time but in reality they are saving lives.”

Blood is in demand all the time and some need to get blood transfusions regularly, like for senior Yasmine Fragoso, “One of my aunts has anemia and she’s been having to receive blood transfusions for it .” There are many people like Fragoso’s aunt who need blood regularly and because of that she strongly believes that donating blood is important. “It’s important to donate blood because without donations, people like her can’t get the treatment they need. I always donate blood when I’m able to and I’d urge people to donate.”

Come and donate blood on Thursday, March 5th to save lives and help those who are in need of blood; you can schedule your appointment online at RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code: JAGUARS or for more information contact any ASB member. You may be able to donate if you are 16 years old with parental consent but you must sign up with ASB during B-Lunch outside the multipurpose room and bring your school ID. The last date to donate is Monday, March 2nd so don’t procrastinate!