The Importance of Being an Earnest Blood Donor

Mari Kamemoto

Many people die every year from not receiving transfusions for treatments for cancer, bleeding disorders, blood diseases or immune system conditions. Bloodworks Northwest helps many people needing blood by collecting blood for transfusions. Bloodworks Northwest was started in Seattle and gives blood to 90 different hospitals in the Northwest.

There are about 200,000 people a year that donate to Bloodworks Northwest, which helps 55,000 people in need of blood. They operate at 12 donor centers and travel to hundreds of blood drives every month at work sites, schools, places of worship, and other community locations throughout the Pacific Northwest, including Bishop Blanchet. There are many parts of blood that can be useful for certain diseases and problems that can save many lives. Bloodworks helps people start new lives and improve their quality of life. They don’t only have donation sites, they also have labs where they test the blood, that then gets sent off to hospitals in the area.

“I love to donate blood because I get to help save lives,” said junior Ella Haskins. “It’s such a simple thing to do that everyone can do.”

Anyone can donate blood and there are blood drives all around the community. Bishop Blanchet hosts blood drives to give opportunities for high school students to donate to those in need. Blanchet strives to get around 45 donors, volunteers go around during lunch and post posters all around the school. Although they didn’t make their goal this year, they were able to get over 25 donors that would save over 75 lives. The Blanchet blood drives and other blood drives around the area are able to give new beginnings to many children and adults.

Abby Cowden a student at Bishop Blanchet likes to give back to the community by donating blood.

“They sit you down and ask for your information to make sure you are safe to donate blood,” said Cowden. “They do a really good job of making you feel comfortable and talking everything they do through.”

The blood donated can benefit many different people for many different needs. There are lots of different parts of blood that is used for each individual person. The American Cancer Society explains the different ways the blood one donates and how it can help a cancer patient.

Cancer patients who undergo surgery or other procedures are in need of transfusions. When donating blood, they donate whole blood but whole blood transfusions are very rare. Blood is separated into different parts called components. Whole blood is separated into red blood cells, platelets, and plasma and each do a different job.

There are many different blood types, so they need a high demand for all blood types. Some blood is not approved to be healthy or the right fit for a recipient, the blood goes through a series of screenings to determine if it useable.

Bishop Blanchet junior Taija Pedersen enjoyed her time playing volleyball. She played for the Blanchet freshman team and for an all year round club team. She was excited to start the new upcoming her sophomore year.

Pedersen was ready her her second year playing for Blanchet and was training all summer. Then, on the first day of tryouts Pedersen was going up for a block and landed and heard a loud pop. She immediately went down in excruciating of pain. She had to sit out and go see the trainer and even go to the doctor.

She could barely walk and was so disappointed about the injury affecting her upcoming season and future volleyball career. She went to the doctor and got X-rays and an MRI scan of her knee. She got the results right away, as the doctor broke the news that she tore her ACL. She learned that she wouldn’t be able to play volleyball anymore and face lots of recovery and physical therapy.

She was so disappointed by the news she just faced, that her injury required surgery. A couple months later was the day of her surgery, to get rid of her pain she had been going through the past 3 months.

Pederson was going to experience a very simple procedures that would not require any complications, but that was not the case for her. During her surgery she experienced more bleeding then they expected, and the doctors were concerned about the amount of blood lost. Blood transfusions during her surgery replenished all the blood in her body that she had lost. If she wouldn’t have gotten the blood transfusion, it could have been very dangerous for her health.

After the scare she recovered very well and go back to normal. In the end she made the volleyball team even with her injury that would take her out of that season. The blood donations can really save people’s lives and can make a bigger difference than one might think.

“I was really sad when I found out that I needed surgery,” said Pedersen. “My knee now is fully recovered, and I am very grateful for the donor of the blood they used for me.”

There are many people that are in need of blood, and Bloodworks Northwest gives them the opportunity to new life. Fatal accidents and surgeries are things that happen often and due to the generous blood donations, many more lives can be saved.