When she gets pricked by a needle before donating blood, dietetics junior Sarah Mroczek said she thinks about children with cancer who need blood donations to survive.
Her sister had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a type of cancer that affects the lymph nodes, and needed blood transfusions. Mroczek said her sister’s experience motivates her to donate blood.
“Watching the blood drip down the IV line into her, you realize you can set aside your own pain,” Mroczek said.
Mroczek was one of many MSU students who donated blood Wednesday for the 17th annual MSU-PSU Blood Challenge, which began Monday.
The competition between MSU and Penn State University to donate the most blood to the American Red Cross will continue until Nov. 18.
On Wednesday, MSU was leading with 221 units of blood donated. Penn State had donated 183 units.
Student organizations, including the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta, sponsored most of the blood drives on campus, including a blood drive on Wednesday at the Union.
Phi Gamma Delta Recruitment Chairman and biosystems engineering senior Drew Coatney, who was working at the blood drive, said the event promotes campus unity through competition.
“It’s always exciting to get the whole student body together to get competitive for a good cause,” Coatney said. “It’s such a simple thing we can do to come together as a campus.”
Three sites for donations were open on campus Wednesday, including the site at the Union and one at the International Center. Coatney said one or two usually are open.
T-shirts with the phrase “I Bleed Green” and Buffalo Wild Wings coupons, among other prizes, were given to students who donated blood at the International Center. Mroczek said the incentives may influence students to donate, which is important.
“I think it’s really good to get younger people to donate,” Mroczek said. “If you donate when you’re younger, you’re a lot more likely to donate when you’re older.”
Although the competition might inspire people, it might not attract students who do not already donate blood, said journalism senior Ingrid Bergquist, who also is a social media and marketing intern for the American Red Cross.
“If (students) feel more connected with the school, (they would be) more likely to go and take the time to donate,” Bergquist said. “(But) I don’t think it’s going to make people who don’t usually donate go.”
Communicative sciences and disorders junior Kelly Lennon, who donated blood at the International Center, said she did not donate because of the competition.
“I was just glad they were available,” Lennon said. “I’m not sure there needs to be a rivalry. I’m sure it was an exciting idea, but I don’t think people come here to donate blood to compete with Penn State.”
For a list of sites to donate blood, visit redcrossblood.org/make-donation and type “MSU” into the sponsor code box.
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