Donors at Red Cross Blood Drives donate one gallon of blood

Shealyn Mandle, Assistant Editer

Anticipating the needle poking through his skin, senior Max George waits patiently as he prepares to donate his blood to the American Red Cross for the eighth time.

“I usually give two pints a year of double red blood cells, and I’ve been doing that since I’ve been in high school,” George said. “The difference between a double red blood cell donation and a regular donation is exactly what it sounds like, I give double the amount of red blood cells than just a normal donation.”

There are three blood drives every year at FHS sponsored by The American Red Cross and run by National Honor Society. Approximately 90 people donate each time, working out to be around 90 pints of blood collected. Senior Tyler Kalanquin has donated seven pints, almost as much blood in the human body.

“I donate because I feel like I can help people who need it. I am able to produce healthy blood for myself and I do not use all of it,” Kalanquin said. “There are people out there who cannot produce healthy blood or who need some extra. I feel like I am able to help those people. It’s just a way I can make a small contribution to my community.”

There are more than 41,000 blood donations every day. People who fulfill all of the eligibility requirements on the American Red Cross website are free to donate; however, the patient that receives it, needs their specific type of blood. The O- blood type can provide to any patient. Only seven percent of people in the United States have O-type blood so it is rare, but very useful.

“I donated a pint my junior year and earlier this year I did a double red cell donation,” senior Cord Alvarado said. “I feel like God really blessed me with my O-blood type because it is the universal donor, so I like to donate whenever I can.”

According to the American Red Cross website, each regular donation can save up to three lives. George, Kalanquin and Alvarado have each donated almost a gallon of blood meaning they have potentially saved 24 lives each.

“It makes me feel great knowing I am actually helping,” George said. “I feel like I can help more people with the more I give.”
The last opportunity for students to donate blood at the school will take place on April 23.