Fraternity gives back by hosting blood drive

Nu Alpha Kappa Fraternity and the Red Cross teamed up for the Red Cross Blood Drive on Tuesday as part of the fraternity’s philanthropy efforts.

Luis Ponce, president of the fraternity and senior sociology major, looked calm while lying on the beds ready to donate blood. After a series of questions by the nurse, he was ready for what was to come.

“This changes lives and gives back to the community,” Ponce said about giving blood. “I’m a type O negative, that means it’s universal. My mom had a blood transfusion after I was born, and thanks to a blood donor (with a type O negative blood type), my mom was able to give birth not only to myself but to my two brothers and be healthy.”

In addition to giving blood, students could also donate bone marrow as part of the Red Cross’ Bone Marrow Registry Drive, hosted by Sara Arroyo. With an application and cheek swab, Arroyo said it is vital for college students to consider donating due to doctors only accepting donors between the ages of 18 and 44.

She added that once one is registered, patients have a better opportunity in finding a match.

As a few students were waiting to get their blood drawn, Samantha Hernandez, a freshman criminology student was the only student drinking water and recuperating after giving blood.

“I was terrified,” Hernandez said. “I needed to do this (before getting) the tattoo (and) I’m getting it this week, and I know this will go to a good cause.”

Kelly Sander, an undecided sophomore, said this would be her fourth time trying to donate.

“Every other time they said I was anemic, but I feel I am healthy enough now to give blood,” she said.

The idea of helping people seemed to be the main reason many of these students desire to donate blood.

Kyle Ramstad, senior mathematics major, said he does it for more than that alone.

“My mom’s a nurse, and I know how important it is. My grandmother, when she was alive, needed several blood transfusions and people who gave blood prolonged her life,” he said. “The first time I gave blood was 8 years ago, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”