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National Blood Donor Month
By Michelle Lele, ASBP Blood Donor Recruiter, Tripler, Hawaii
University of Hawaii Air Force ROTC Cadet Liya Smolina (front) makes her first donation to the Tripler Army Medical Center Blood Donor Center with the support of her classmate Cadet Lauren Beard (back).
Earlier this year, the University of Hawaii Army and Air Force ROTCs helped support the Armed Services Blood Program by hosting a blood drive with the Tripler Army Medical Center Blood Donor Center, Hawaii. Despite the long lines and early morning hours, more than 100 cadets jumped into action before their classes started to roll up their sleeves and donate blood for ill or injured service members worldwide.
“This was my first time donating blood and I was extremely nervous. I always thought it to be painful and uncomfortable, but it ended up being the complete opposite,” said Air Force ROTC Cadet Liya Smolina. “The phlebotomist explained exactly what he was doing and made the process very easy and calmed me down. Turns out the process is short and painless.”
It is common for misconceptions to exist about the blood donation process causing some prospective donors to become wary of donating. For Smolina, after almost immediately after her donation, she was ready to plan her next visit!
“I’ll definitely donate again in the future,” said Smolina.
Some people do not realize a simple blood donation that takes only about one hour of their time can save up to three lives. The Armed Services Blood Program operates more than 20 blood donor centers worldwide and every donation makes a difference to service members, veterans and their families around the globe. Remember, the act of giving blood is a generous and selfless gift—a gift worth trying just once! Just ask Smolina.
“I wanted to at least try it just once. My fear of needles and blood is very insignificant, especially when I think about all of the people that need blood,” she said.
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