The Gift of Life

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The Gift of Life

Through the eyes of a donor

Through the eyes of a donor

Photo Credit: Sarah Bovo

Through the eyes of a donor

Photo Credit: Sarah Bovo

Photo Credit: Sarah Bovo

Through the eyes of a donor

Rebecca Perry

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On Wednesday May 1st, Lake Shores’ Annual Unyts Blood Drive was held in the High School Gymnasium. This year all of the donors received a donate life t-shirt and a complimentary smoothie from O’Brien’s Food Truck.

Lake Shore’s Donate Life Club was started by High School Health Teacher Rosanne Schaller six years ago.

“I have been blessed by donation and I wanted to give back to humankind” said Schaller.

Each year the Donate Life Club hosts one or two blood drives.  

“I want to make sure that the blood bank is plentiful for anyone in need,” said Schaller.

This year, the club gained an additional advisor, High School Math Teacher Kate Kreinheder.

“I have always been an advocate for blood and organ donation. Mrs. Schaller inspired me to get involved in the club myself,” said Kreinheder.

Mrs. Kreinheder plans to advise again next year.

“My favorite part of the club is seeing students donate for the first time successfully which will hopefully lead to a lifetime of future donation,” Kreinheder added.

Club member, Kaylee Peacock states her favorite thing about the blood drive.

“I love seeing the community come together to support one another,” said Peacock.

President of the club, Haley Crosta joined the club after donation hit her own home.

“My mom would have passed away if she didn’t get three blood transfusions so I’m very passionate about what I do,” Crosta said.

Haley has been a blood donor herself. She recalls donating blood a humbling experience.

“The pain is temporary, you have to focus on the bigger picture.”

Prior to donation, the phlebotomist will prick the donors finger to test their iron level. It is common for one to be turned away from donation if their iron level is too low. Sophomore Megan Kowalski was hoping to donate for the first time.

“I wanted to help people out. I was unable to donate because my iron was too low. I feel really unhelpful now,” Kowalski shared.

Club member Jessica Marinaro provided advice for those that had a low iron level so they can prepare to donate in the future.

“Drink a lot of water and eat foods that are high in iron like spinach and red meat,” Marinaro suggested.

According to Mrs. Schaller, there are other ways to prepare for donation day.

“Take uber good care of yourself. Hydrate, get good sleep, and eat all your meals and snacks. Overall, you should try to live a healthy lifestyle. Exercising helps support your blood vessels and keeps you strong,” Schaller explained.

Thirty-five people were able to donate their blood successfully at the past blood drive. Mrs. Schaller and the Donate Life Club hope to continue to raise awareness for blood donation so they can have many more successful events in the future.

“I want to be there for other people and support them because unfair health crisis and accidents happen and we need to have each others backs,” Schaller said.

Mrs. Schaller said that she believes blood donation is the best way to make an impact within the community.

“Giving blood is an amazing opportunity to help other people. It’s an act of kindness like no other- It’s giving a piece of you to someone else- it’s the gift of life.”