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The Save Mart Center Larry A. Shehadey Toer lit red on Sept. 12, 2017 in observance of Blood Cancer Awareness Month. (Daniel Avalos/The Collegian)

Blood drive asks for donations

September marks the beginning of Blood Cancer Awareness month and a three-day event on campus is encouraging students to donate blood and register for bone marrow donations.

The event kicked off Tuesday at the University Dining Hall.

Bloodmobiles will be on campus Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. near the University Student Union and at the Maple Mall.

The Jan and Bud Richter Center for Community Engagement and Service-Learning at Fresno State has teamed up with the Central California Blood Center and the Be the Match campaign to inform students and recruit blood donors.

The Richter Center is the hub for community involvement at Fresno State and has logged over 1 million hours of community service during this past academic year.

“Our goal is to help students get involved and give some of their time back to the community,” said Taylan Bennett, the special projects coordinator at the Richter Center.

She said donating blood is one of the easiest ways to make a difference.

“It’s simple, it only takes an hour of your time, you can fit it in between classes and it’s an easy thing that makes a big impact,” Bennett said.

The Big Fresno Fair has also partnered with the Central California Blood Center and is offering donors a chance to win prizes such as concert tickets to the Goo Goo Dolls.

The Central Valley area requires donations of around 6,000 pints per month before officials can send the surplus to other areas that are short.

The organization is hoping to collect around 350 pints from this blood drive.

“The big thing is that blood cannot be manufactured,” said Tatiana Partain, marketing director of the Central California Blood Center. “So for patients in an emergency, in need of a transfusion or in treatment for leukemia or other types of blood cancer, they rely on volunteer blood donors.”

Blood diversity in donors is also particularly important to ensure that all patients can find a match.

“We encourage everyone to donate blood,” Partain said. “And here at Fresno State they have such a diverse program, so it’s a great location for people of all different backgrounds to come donate.”

Fresno State senior Daniel Apuan said he wanted people to know that donating blood is never as painful or scary as people think. He donated blood blood for the tenth time.

“Just do it, it’s not anything to be afraid of,” Apuan said. “The staff is always super helpful and friendly. Do it with a friend – it’s always easier to do it with someone else.”