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Lions support blood drive

By Jonathan Rhodes
On May 8, 2018

Lions football senior wide receiver Nih-Jer Jackson gave blood to the United Blood Services during a blood drive that the Lions sponsored. Jonathan Rhodes/The Lion’s Roar

The Lions football team sponsored a blood drive by the United Blood Services in front of the Dugas Center. Lions players along with other students walked into the bloodmobile in between their classes to make a donation.

The blood drive was held on May 2. Donors received a free “Cinco de Mayo Blood Donor” T-shirt as they walked out of the bloodmobile.

Senior wide receiver Nih-Jer Jackson was passing by before he and his teammate sophomore defensive lineman Tainano Gaulua went into the bloodmobile to make a donation.

“I’ve donated blood before, and I was just walking past not really thinking about going in, but the girl outside the bus convinced me by saying, ‘Why not come and donate blood to help someone else,’” said Jackson.

After giving a donation, Jackson was proud that he gave his blood in order to save lives.

“It’s giving back in a different way,” said Jackson. “You can always go out into the community and serve, but being able to probably save someone else’s life, something that means more.”

 According to United Blood Services Donor Recruitment Representative Katherine Nielsen, one pint of blood can save up to three lives.

“How we do that is we separate it into your red cells, your plasma and your platelets so it can go to three different people,” said Nielsen.

United Blood Services sends the blood to aid accident victims, cancer patients, sickle cell patients and people with other blood disorders. The blood donated will also be used to help with surgeries, routine or emergency situations and premature babies.

“We have one special blood type, O negative,” said Nielsen. “That is the universal donor. It can go to anybody in case of a trauma. It is very valuable to us because it can go to anybody. If you are O negative or CMV negative, you can give to babies in the hospital.”

Donations can be made at the United Blood Services office in Baton Rouge off the Essen Lane exit or in other locations in Louisiana.

“We do have the fixed site blood drives in our center, and then we have blood drives all over the state,” said Nielsen. “We supply over 30 hospitals in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. For our center, we need 2,000 units of blood each month in order to meet our needs.” 

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