The Gift of Blood

DMAE held its annual all-day fall blood drive on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015 in the old gym of the North building. Organized by school nurse Barbara Manche and administrator John Jasinski in collaboration with the Community Blood Council of New Jersey, the event attracted more than 100 student and staff donors.

“People die if they don’t get the blood,” Mrs. Manche said. “When people are sick at the hospital, they need blood and you can’t really manufacture it.”

One pint of blood taken from a donor can supply for up to three lives. To help assist in the regular demand for blood, the DMAE student body and staff come together twice a year, making it the only major school wide donation event.

The blood drive at DMAE is also useful in getting students acquainted with the habit of giving blood, according to Mr. Jasinski, as it exposes the students to the complicated screening process and rules involved in a real blood drive. It further encourages younger people to continue become regular donors.

“Kids are the healthiest donors. You don’t have any of the adult problems,” Mrs. Manche said.

As long as they are 16 or older, weight at least 120 pounds, are in good health, and have not traveled to Mexico, Dominican Republic, England, or Columbia within the last six months, students are eligible to give blood.

All day, student volunteers were involved in helping out with the drive, such as senior Noore-Jannat Anindita, who signed students in and out of the ‘resting station,’ the final stop before heading back to class.

“Donating blood shows that we are students, but we are still helping people. Our blood can help people stay alive and live longer,” Noore said.

Social studies teacher John Cirilli has been an annual blood donor for the past few years, giving a pint of blood every fall and spring.

“I give blood every year because I feel as though it’s helping another life in a positive way,” Mr. Cirilli explained. “I would like to think that if I were ever in need of blood, somebody else would be willing to give me their blood to keep me alive, so I do that for them.”

Mr. Cirilli’s thoughts were echoed in one student donor, who was aware of what a pint of his blood could do.

“I believe that it is important to donate blood for blood transfusions during surgeries in hospital, for those with blood problems like anemia,” senior Roman Bellanger said.

All day, a steady flow of students and staff stopped by and donated. From the end of first period to the beginning of eighth, the amount blood donated can be considered a success. DMAE will hold its second annual blood drive in 2016.