Penn State

Bleeding blue

Darby Kern, a Penn State senior, prepares to donate blood while talking with collection specialist Christina Kauffman during the Bleed Blue Blood Drive at Beaver Stadium on Tuesday.
Darby Kern, a Penn State senior, prepares to donate blood while talking with collection specialist Christina Kauffman during the Bleed Blue Blood Drive at Beaver Stadium on Tuesday. cweddle@centredaily.com

The American Red Cross Greater Alleghenies Blood Services Region held its sixth annual Bleed Blue at Beaver Stadium blood drive Tuesday.

A foggy mist diminished visibility, making Mount Nittany invisible for the afternoon as donors crowded the blue and white halls of the third floor president’s suite.

“We do it here because many people pass Beaver Stadium daily, but never get the chance to see it from this vantage point,” said Laura Merritt, Centre County Red Cross account manager.

Merritt has worked for the Red Cross for more than five years and said the work the Red Cross does is important because “it is literally saving lives. For a 45-minute donation, volunteers on average are literally saving three lives.”

Merritt said the work isn’t always easy. “But no matter how hard your job is, or what kind of day you had, you can go home and know that you’ve helped someone.”

That was certainly the case for Juls Bratton, a sales manager for DelGrosso’s and grandmother of a baby boy, “just born on Nov. 17.”

“He suffered from fetal-maternal hemorrhage. A membrane never formed and he needed over 13 pints of blood,” said Bratton,who attended the event and served food donated by DelGrosso’s.

“Blood cannot be made in a factory. You are literally saving lives when you donate it,” said Melissa Wolf, account manager for Penn State at the Red Cross.

Many organizations on campus helped sponsor the event including the women’s hockey team, IST, club soccer and the Biological Honor Society.

The goal of the day was to collect at least 154 units of blood, and by 3:30 p.m. they were well over halfway to reaching that goal.

Once the blood is collected, “it will be dispersed to over 90 hospitals in the area,” Merritt said.

The organization will hold its annual Thon kickoff Thursday at the HUB-Robeson Center. The Red Cross will donate $2 per donor to Thon. For more information, visit www.redcrossblood.org.

Jalelah Ahmed: 814-231-4631, @jalelahahmed

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