CCCC students, staff bolster blood supply

Upcoming drives offer more chances to give
Apr. 04, 2013 @ 06:17 PM

Giving blood isn't always a comfortable experience, so when Kimberly Guin gives blood, she thinks of the children from Duke Children's Hospital that come to the summer camp she works at every year — and how blood donors like her may just save some of their lives.

Guin, who's pursuing an associate of arts degree from Central Carolina Community College with plans to transfer to UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall, was one of a handful of people who braved the cold and rain Thursday to give blood at CCCC.

"There's always a need," said Robert Papa, a supervisor from the Durham Red Cross who was heading up Thursday's blood drive. "... Only 5 percent of people who are eligible to donate do."

Papa and his team were hoping to get 48 pints of blood from students, faculty and staff at the college. That's only about 3 percent of the 1,500 pints Durham's teams are required to collect each and every day from the areas they cover, but every bit helps. Hospitals have been forced to delay surgeries in the past because of blood shortages, and the nationwide supply took a hit after Hurricane Sandy put a stop to donations several months ago.

So for people who want to help out cancer patients, newborn babies, trauma victims, surgery patients and others who might need blood transfusions, there are two more Red Cross drives coming up in Lee County in the next two weeks. First Baptist Church will host a blood drive from 1:30-6 p.m. Tuesday, and Lowe's Home Improvement will host another on April 16 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Two people who won't be donating on those days are Guin and Josue Vicente, a fellow AA degree seeker who also gave blood Thursday at CCCC. But that's only because there's a required 56-day wait period between donations.

"It's in my nature to help in any way I can, and this is just one of those ways," Vicente said.

However, they might be at future CCCC drives. Under the leadership of Student Activities Director Mike Neal, the college hosts two each semester and one in the summer, and Neal said it makes perfect sense to do on a college campus because students frequently have hour-long breaks between classes, and the process takes about 45 minutes.

Neal, who has personally given 90 pints of blood (for comparison, the average human has about 10 pints coursing through his or her veins at any given time), said it can sometimes be hard to drum up support for donations among college students, so he's grateful to students who give — and to teachers who encourage such contributions during class.



WHAT: Red Cross blood drives in Lee County

WHEN: 1:30-6 p.m. Tuesday at First Baptist Church, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 16 at Lowe's Home Improvement.