You Don’t Have to be a Superhero to Save Lives

Red Cross Blood Drive

Thousands of lives of saved every day by the people who donate blood, Red Cross officials say.  The agency is conductive blood drives dily across the nation.  

WASHINGTON — Kenae Raine isn’t a firefighter, policeman, doctor or a superhero.

In fact, she’s a petite student at Howard University in Washington.  Still she saved a life Tuesday.  

Shana Logan was also running around saving people from death, and she wasn’t wearing a Luke Cage hoodie or a Batman cape either.  But both kept someone alive with a super hero serum that everybody has – they gave blood.

Rain and Logan were two of the estimated 100 people who gave blood during the Red Cross’ blood drive at the university.

This year, the university expected such a larger turnout that previous years that H the drive was held inside the Armour J. Blackburn Center instead of the usual truck outside the auditorium.                 

Garrick Robinson, a phlebotomist with the Red Cross, was one of the people taking blood and storing it to make it available to hospitals across the city.

 “We estimate to have at least one hundred people in total since 80 people already have made an appointment,” Robinson said Tuesday.  “We had 40 people yesterday and that’s pretty good.   So, I think we’ll meet our goal.”

According to the Red Cross, every 20 seconds someone needs blood, either for emergencies, such as traffic accidents, or to replace loss blood, such as in transplants, surgeries and cancer treatment. 

Ironically, the agency says, less than two people out of three can donate blood, which is why their drives in Washington and the rest of the nation are so important.

Raine said she had a very personal reason for giving.

 “It’s always something I’ve wanted to do,” she said.  “I just feel as though there is not enough people that receive the resources they need. I’ve also had people in my family who have needed blood before, but I never got the chance to donate mine because I’m so small.”

To give blood, donors must be 17-years-old or older and weigh at least 110 pounds and be in good health, according to the Red Cross. During the donation process, there are four steps—registration, health history & mini physical, the donation, and refreshments.  Donors must wait eight weeks to do so again, because red cells need about four to six weeks for complete replacement, the agency said.

Logan said she gave blood, because believes in helping others.

“I’m an organ donor, so I’m big on things like that and this is almost the same kind of thing,” Logan said.  “I think that if you can make a difference or help somebody why not do it.

“I always get rejected for things like my iron level, but anybody can try.  It’s something small that anybody can do and it won’t take out a huge chunk of your day and it could make a huge difference in somebody else’s life.”

To learn more and to find a Red Cross blood drive in your area, visit http://www.redcross.org/give-blood.