STAFF WRITER JENNIFER FIERRO
Burnet High School’s Health Occupation Students of America say their upcoming blood drive has a greater significance than the ones they helped organize in the past.
This one is for Team Thiago.
Team Thiago was created for 3-year-old Thiago Paxtor, the son of a Burnet Consolidated Independent School District teacher. Thiago has leukemia.
The blood drive is 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday, May 13, at Burnet High School, 1000 The Green Mile.
HOSA teacher Sharon Massey was contacted by fellow teacher Laura Krienke about a possible blood drive to benefit Thiago. Krienke got the idea after reading a family blog on the boy and the importance of blood donations.
The class hosts a blood drive twice during the school year, bringing an average of 70 donors, said senior Samantha Robison. The students hope even more people will participate May 13.
“It motivates people even more,” senior Kathleen Fipps said about people knowing who benefits from the blood drive. “We’re trying to get the word out. It motivates us even more because we know how much this little boy needs it. It’s something so small that we can do (that) can be hugely important.”
“Everyone in the community is coming together,” added senior Stephanie Lemus.
And these health-care students know the importance of blood.
Blood transports nutrients to the body, said senior Mikayla Whitus. Without those nutrients, cells — and, eventually, the body — die.
Lemus noted healthy people easily reproduce blood, but those battling illnesses might need transfusions to make it easier for the body to respond to treatments. And while the donated blood at this drive might not go directly to Thiago, he’ll get credit for it with the blood bank, which will help him later.
Donors must be 17 or older and weigh at least 115 pounds.
Those who want to donate can sign up in advance on the We Are Blood donation page, but walk-ins are welcome.
Donors should eat a full meal before donating and bring a photo identification with them. They’ll receive a free T-shirt.
Once the donation is complete, HOSA students will walk with the donor to ensure they safely leave the area.
According to We Are Blood, the entire donation process takes about 45 minutes, only a small part of someone’s day but a huge difference in another person’s life.
“Something small like blood can help save someone,” senior Lucila Ortiz said.