Ashley Huff sat in a tan lawn chair awaiting her fate. She squeezed her eyes shut and in a matter of minutes she may have saved three people’s lives by donating a pint of her blood.
Huff, a Louisville junior, along with more than 500 people donated their blood at the Preston Center on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
“I have a fear of needles and I was so nervous,” Huff said.
Most of the donators were from Greek organizations in order to gain points for Greek Week. The sororities and fraternities that had 100 percent of their members participate received 10 points toward Greek Week.
Each increment of 10 people to participate from each group received one point.
For every person after 100 percent, the winning Greek group got three points, second place got two points and third place got one point.
The blood donated will be transferred to a local Bowling Green hospital and spun to separate the blood into droplets.
“Most people don’t need whole blood. They need the platelets, plasma, and red blood cells within the blood,” said Doug Bumpus, a mobile unit assistant.
After the blood has been spun and separated, it is shipped all over the United States to distribute to units that have a shortage of blood.
“This means a great deal to us because there is a great shortage and many people who need blood,” said Tonya Wilson, team supervisor for the American Red Cross.
Many first-timers experienced a typical light headed feeling, nausea and a small tingling sensation in the arm. These people’s feet were raised above their heads and were given something to drink or eat to raise their blood sugar.
“Students that come to give blood are the ones that stock our shelves,” Bumpus said. “You never know, it could be someone you know that needs it.”
To give blood, a person must weigh more than 110 pounds, be 17 years old and in good health. One pint of blood can save the lives of three people.
“I knew that I had to do it,” Horse Cave junior Alice Caldwell said. “I feel that I don’t do enough for other people, and this is something so simple that anyone can do.”
Reach Catherine Melvin at [email protected]