You’re driving down Broad Street or Rutherford Boulevard or the Old Nashville Highway or Interstate 24, minding your own business, when another vehicle knocks you into next week.
Your doctor is almost finished with your successful surgery when your blood pressure suddenly drops.
Your child is diagnosed with leukemia and needs chemotherapy and radiation.
The life-saving common denominator in each of these scenarios: blood.
We don’t often get a chance to save a life with something as simple, free and amazing as a gift of blood, but you can give that gift when you join MTSU’s True Blue Blood Drive Monday-Wednesday, Oct. 21-23, inside the Student Health, Wellness and Recreation Center.
It’s easy to make an appointment at http://www.redcrossblood.org/mtsu and to get more details at mtsunews.com/bleed-blue-2013.
MTSU holds campus blood drives regularly to give back to the community that has surrounded and supported us for 102 years.
Our big fall blood drive has been linked since 2010 to a competition with Western Kentucky University, where each university tries to collect the most blood products before our annual football game.
When MTSU joined Conference USA this summer, however, we had to pull the Western game off our schedule. We knew we couldn’t cancel our big fall blood drive, because the community depends on us. Our students, faculty, staff, alumni, neighbors, supporters, friends, families and other good people were waiting to donate.
So, with the help of the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross, MTSU and Western agreed to keep the drive alive, separately.
Western, which collected 637 units of blood last year to win the competition for the first time, has a blood drive set Oct. 28-30. We at MTSU are aiming to top the 618 units of blood we collected in 2012. Now that Western’s in C-USA too, we’ll undoubtedly resume our big “blood battle” and football rivalry next year.
Since each blood donation can help up to three people, the 1,255 units of blood we and Western collected last fall potentially saved the lives of 3,755 people.
That’s the population of Hohenwald. It’s 1,000 more people than live in Woodbury, and it’s just 200 fewer than Gatlinburg’s population.
Are you willing to endure a little pinch to save someone’s life?
I am. I’ve been donating blood since I was 20. And I’m still scared of needles. (Tip: Don’t look, relax your donation arm by concentrating hard on your other arm, and ask the phlebotomist for a paper towel to hide that needle.)
This red stuff in my veins has replenished the blood supplies diminished by a friend’s twin daughters battling leukemia, a former co-worker’s emergency surgery and an acquaintance fighting for his life after a car wreck. It’s helped save the lives of people I’ve never heard of and people I know. It may have saved the life of a person I just met today.
The red stuff in your veins can do the same. Please make an appointment today to donate blood at MTSU Oct. 21-23. We’ll give you exclusive parking, a snack, a T-shirt and our deepest thanks for saving someone you may never meet.
Maybe you will.
Gina E. Fann works in MTSU’s Office of News and Media Relations and manages content for the university’s news website, MTSUnews.com.