TKE, Omega Psi Phi sponsor blood drive

Lauren Owens, Staff Writer

Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) and Omega Psi Phi fraternities hosted a blood drive together on the lawn beside parking lot H.

The two fraternities worked together with the American Red Cross, to collect blood for medical patients in need of blood transfusions on Thursday, Oct. 28.

This is the rst time that TKE and Omega Psi Phi have partnered with the American Red Cross to hold a blood drive.

TKE usually hosts four blood drives, on their own, a year collecting approximately 50 – 60 pints of blood each time.

According to TKE president, Brandon Turner, the amount of blood donated can vary from each blood drive depending on the time of year, how many people are working the blood drive and how many mobile units are at the blood drive.

For the next blood drive, Turner hopes to collect 50 units of blood. These goals are based on the previous blood drives’ success.

Students gave blood at the TKE blood drive for various reasons.

Senior biology major Tim Tedder said he gave blood because he wants to help meet needs in the hospital. For the past three years, Tedder has worked in patient transport at McLeod Hospital.

“Having worked in a hospital, you see there is a need through talking with staff,” Tedder said. “The need is not being met like it should be. What’s being given is good, but it is just not enough.”

For the TKE fraternity, the blood drives mean more than just community service.

Turner’s mother died of sickle cell anemia 11 years ago. She received blood transfusions to help her with her illness.

“This disease has impacted how I look at my whole life,” Turner said.

Turner uses his mother as a source of motivation to continue hosting the blood drives.

“This is not just a chance to hold a blood drive,” Turner said. “When you are the kid whose mom actually needs this, it becomes real. That person does not go away.”

Turner’s mom told him to never give up and to never accept anything less than perfection.

“[These words] have helped me motivate how we are in the chapter,” Turner said.

Turner’s mother was the seventh reported Caucasian case of sickle cell anemia at the time she was diagnosed.

Turner has used these blood drives to raise awareness about sickle cell anemia through telling his mother’s story.

“I did not feel like sickle cell anemia got enough attention,” Turner said. “You read about cancer and all these other things we are researching, and [sickle cell anemia] is kind of a side note.”

Omega Psi Phi also has personal ties to the American Red Cross and blood transfusions.

According to the National Library of Medicine, an alumni member of Omega Psi Phi, Charles R Drew, pioneered the blood plasma storage process and established the rst blood bank.

With these contributions, Drew went along to invent the rst mobile blood donation center, now know as the “bloodmobiles.”

Chapters of Omega Psi Phi hold blood drives each year in honor of his contributions to the medical eld.

The next American Red Cross blood drive will be Jan. 26.