The Story of the Blood Donors of Campus

(From top left to top right) Travis Bruce, Rampaul Udaipaul, David Hennessey, (from bottom left to bottom right) Chin-Ting Sherwin, Andrew Davis, Anea Siby.

Canadian Blood Services visited Oshawa’s DC and UOIT campus for the second time this school year, and are expected to come back in the next year’s two semesters. The Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre gym was split so CBS could set up their equipment.

According to Laura Ashton, 58 people came between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on Feb. 8 to take a needle and donate 450 milliliters of their blood for research and hospital patients.

So what are some of the stories behind these donors? Why did they decide to come?

All interviewed donors said they did not experience any major pain with their needles, including the first-time donors. “The flu shot is worse than that,” said Andrew Davis after his donation, it being his first time.

According to CBS, that is a normal feeling, a needle that is in donors for 10-15 minutes not as bad as one that happens for a second. The reason for that is flu shots have to pierce muscle but the doctors are trained to make sure the needle goes into a vein in the arm that does not cause pain other than a poke. There are no nerves in that area and the nurses are trained to make the process easy.

Travis Bruce, Child and Youth Care student, donated for a second time not just because of it being a good cause. “I found out last time my blood type is O+. That means I’m a universal blood donor, so it’s good to donate,” he said. The first time, he and his roommate were walking by, saw it happening, talked to the nurses and they decided to contribute, only requiring a questionnaire filling like all the others.

Connor Hopkins, a fourth-year Manufacturing and Engineering student about to graduate, also first donated with roommate(s) involved. “[My donating] started with a bunch of my roommates. We were going to do it, and if I’m being frank, we’re very competitive with one another. So I was like, “Well, if you’re going to do it, I’m going to do it.” So ever since, I’ve returned.” This was his fifth donation.

Rampaul Udaipaul of Forensic Science, who, like Bruce, also was donating for the second time, said, “I’m donating blood because my grandfather back in [his home country] would donate blood to a lot of people and I just thought it would be a good idea to do so as well.”

Chin-Ting Sherwin, a Business and Marketing student, wanted to donate when she was 16 but couldn’t because she was a year under the age requirement. When Sherwin heard CBS was arriving on campus, she arrived. Sherwin had no classes that day.

Anea Siby donated for the seventh time and David Hennessey donated for the ninth time.

Siby has a personal connection to the field. She is studying to be a Technologist, and according to her, she practices the process the nurses do; “poking people” and other types of medicine. Siby also helped with OBS before postsecondary school. “In my high school “[Our Lady Mount Carmel],” she said, “I used to help get the blood services going. We had a health care club, and I would call [the blood services] and organize whole donations.”

Hennessey, majoring in Kinesiology, said CBS came to his high school and he simply got into the routine. At nine donations, he has given more than enough blood, according to CBS, to care for a lymphoma patient for seven days. He said he used to hate needles, then was able to get used to it.

Every donor got to relax by the refreshments table at the back of the gym, obliged to enjoy cookies, water, juice, and a chat with others who donated.

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William juggles all sorts of skills and dreams in a panic to find what sticks: He's an author, movie and book reviewer, voice actor and YouTuber. He's also the journalist who retrieved Monster by Mistake, a 3D Canadian cartoon which went missing from the public for over 10 years. He is the author of the YA book The Blacktop Brothers and its four sequels, and has been reviewing movies and books weekly on his website, Weldon Witness, since 2014. His main hobbies are sleeping in, speeding through books, taking pride in every article, and entertainment journalism is his favourite