Mississippi College

Mississippi Blood Services March 2012 Drive Attracts Dozens of MC Students

April 2, 2012

Both of her grandparents battled health problems and they needed blood from people who could give the gift of life.

That’s what led Mississippi College senior Jaci Shoemaker to donate blood for the first time as a high school student a few years ago.

A sociology major from Gautier, Shoemaker returned to make another donation as part of a Mississippi Blood Services drive on the Clinton campus.

The March 28-29 campaign at the Alumni Hall lobby attracted 50 students in the first few hours Wednesday and more were lining up Thursday.

“I don’t want anybody to need blood,” Shoemaker said as MBS staffer LaToya Allen assisted with the procedure. “This can save three lives,” says the graduate of the Mississippi School for the Arts in Brookhaven.

Based in Flowood, Mississippi Blood Services expects to conduct a half-dozen drives at the Christian university in 2011-2012, up from four visits a year ago. MBS supplies blood and blood products to 49 hospitals around the Magnolia State. This year, 42,000 patients in Mississippi and surrounding states will need blood.

The two-day drive at Mississippi College was sponsored by Phi Theta Kappa, a national collegiate honor society with a chapter on the Clinton campus. Free T-shirts went to all donors, who also registered for the chance to win a Wal-Mart gift card.

But getting a T-shirt or a nice prize wasn’t the reason that MC sophomore Hailey Elder of Tomball, Texas signed up to give blood. The death of a close family friend led her to give blood as a high school student in Texas and she said she’s been giving ever since.

A nursing major, Elder says she’s donated blood seven times, including three occasions at Mississippi College.

Making her first blood drive donation Wednesday was MC junior Jewel Guy, a social work major from Flora. Her husband’s back surgery required blood donations and that got the Madison County resident first interested in becoming a donor.

Graduate student Jennifer Esquinance, 23, of Mandeville, La. decided to join the MBS “Cover Mississippi 2012” campaign for other reasons. She works as a technician in a hospital emergency room around Covington in the Bayou State and sees the need.

“Emergency rooms are always short of blood,” says Esquinance, who’s seeking a master’s in biological sciences at Mississippi College.

MBS officials say blood is needed for patients in emergency operations and routine procedures. Those in a battle with cancer, people suffering from trauma injuries, sickle cell disease and other medical problems require blood.

For more information, contact MBS officials at their headquarters at 115 Tree Street in Flowood or call 1.888.902.5663 or go to www.msblood.com.

Photo: MC senior Jaci Shoemaker of Gautier gives blood. MBS staffer LaToya Allen of Jackson assists with the procedure.

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