It courses through our veins, a song, a rhythm, a steady pulse. It is the nectar of our body; it is physical evidence of a living wonder: our body. Our body is capable of a myriad function to simply keep us alive. Pump. In. Out. Our body performs miracles for blood, and, quite honestly, it’s sad to see some people robbed of that seemingly insignificant lifeline.
Today, the need for blood is severely high. In fact, in the local Washington area needs one thousand blood donors each day. The demand is ever-increasingly high, whereas the supply continues depleting fast.
The meeting at PATH was different today. Volunteers had heard the Bloodworks Project was presenting, but they certainly weren’t prepared for the effort and passion this team had and continues to have in their endeavors to change the world step by step.
Mr. Lee Mr. Lee gave a brief introduction to the Bloodworks partnership and project, saying the Bloodworks Project was a key example of a project that helps Asian Americans engage with the community. He gave the high school students advice as well, advising the project to find other projects and partners that add to the community.
This set up the stage for the partnership presentation. Pathway’s very own are partnering with Bloodworks Northwest Seattle Central Donor Center. Dr. Yanyun Wu opened up the presentation with a high dosage of reality. She told us the statistics. 2% of white people donate blood nationally, compared to 1.5% Asians. In King County, about 1% of Asian people and 3% of white people donate blood. The numbers she presented revealed the clear need for Asian Americans to engage in the community more.
To balance the staggering statistics, Dr. Wu reassured us with facts based on hope. She told us that blood cells have a few key components: white blood cells, plasma, and platelets. Plasma, red cells, and platelets have a life span of one year, thirty to forty days, and five days, respectively. These numbers show us the miracle of blood, and how long it can last without the natural sustenance of a human circulatory system. A small pint of this blood can save three lives. Dr. Wu furthered that humans have around 5 liters of blood and can lose twenty percent of it. The conclusion: One donation of your blood can save six lives. Dr. Wu continued to show us how integral the Asian-American community is to the blood donor community.
This is the logo that is changing lives:
Marlena, a parent and blood donor at PATH, gave us a segue into the Bloodworks Project Presentation. She shared a personal story; that alone is commendable. Her father-in-law got cancer and needed blood transfusions after chemotherapy. It was then when Marlena realized the importance of blood donations. Since then, she’s been an active member of the donor community. She assured the parents present that the Bloodworks donor system and workers make the process sanitary, easy, and comfortable. She joked that the testing process for usable blood takes only ten minutes, and you can scroll through your phone or read. Marlena concluded by explaining her 2-month-periodical donations, emphasizing the good one person can do.
Then, the Bloodworks project team took the stage. They presented their mission: to educate the community, especially the Asian community, about the process and benefits of donating blood, and ultimately recruit more blood donors through a partnership with Bloodworks NW. A bold, admirable goal. Project Leader, Richard Yang, is the forefront of this team, along with his teammates: Claire Ong, Katherine Chang, Evelyn Li, George Wang, Eric Liu, Eric Han, Lillian Huang, and Vincent Zhou. With George Yang as their advisor, this team is set to inspire real change.
The team elaborated on their mission with a clear-cut goal: to spread awareness to at least 90 people by the end of June about the importance of blood donation and to get at least ten percent of eligible tour attendees to donate blood by end of the school year.
After laying down the semantics of the project, the team informed us that 25% of us will require a blood transfusion at some point in our lives and that all blood types are required for new medical research that could potentially cure diseases in the future. This showed us the power of the people. We are the game-changers. We are the ones who hold the power to ameliorate the growth of humanity.
Not convinced yet? Well, the team reported research has shown that regularly donating blood also reduces your risk of developing health problems such as cancer, heart attacks, and liver problems. Sign PATH up!
The team will be hosting one tour per month in March, April, and May. The tours vary, averaging an hour with 15 people per tour.
If you want to find more about Dr. Wu’s organization, click here.
If you want to learn more from the Bloodworks Project’s presentation, click here.
If you are interested in joining the Mayoral Internship, you can register here.
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Written by Neha Dubhashi