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Campus Life, Condor Profiles

Helping the community through blood donation

Senior Omar Gonzalez (Div. 704) takes joy and pride in helping his community. From volunteering to Chicago based events, to simply helping people around his home, Omar hopes to grow as a person and as a community member.

“I was brought up that way. My parents always told me good things happen to those who do good things,” Gonzalez said.

When Senior Executive Board sponsor Marina Kalic told her students about positions to help in the annual LifeSource Blood Drive, Gonzalez was quick to volunteer. LifeSource, a blood service organization in in Illinois, aims to fulfill the need for blood products can occur in persons of all ages, from premature infants to the elderly.

“Despite miraculous advancements in medicine, there is no substitute for human blood,” according to LifeSource promotional materials.

The blood drive is a great way to earn service hours and donate blood to people who need it. For Gonzalez, joining was a no-brainer.

“It was a great opportunity to help those who are in need of donated blood, and receiving community service hours was an added bonus,” Gonzalez said.

He also explained how important it was to donate blood because he is familiar with how that blood can be used.

“My friend Felle was diagnosed with anemia at the age of eight, and it occasionally makes him upset, so I had to help other people, so they don’t have to go through what Felle went through,” Gonzalez said.

Despite the eagerness to participate in the blood drive, multiple students were rejected by LifeSource nurses. Gonzalez’s blood had to be analyzed to check his eligibility. With the help of nurse Dutch Mythica, a long time nurse at LifeSource, he was able to safely donate a pint of blood to the blood drive. Some others, however, were not as lucky.

“A lot of people began to feel nauseous after donating blood. Thankfully, nurse Mythica advised me to eat food and drink water before blood was extracted, and I feel as if that really helped me from not feeling ill,” Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez was content with is participation in the blood drive, and he hopes his passion for helping others carries out for the rest of his life.