JC blood drive

With eyes closed, Jones College sophomore Amanda Bozeman of Columbia, center, donates her first unit of blood with support from her friend Emily Callender as Vitalant phlebotomist Jimarez Alonso inserts the needle. 

(Photo by Teresa McCreery/JC Media Relations)

Jones College sophomore Amanda Bozeman of Foxworth bravely gave her first pint of blood during Jones College’s Fall Blood Drive as part of a personal challenge. After successfully making it through the process, she is now contemplating whether it could be a new habit for her.

“I always wanted to give but I couldn’t in high school because I didn’t weigh enough and I couldn’t get past the idea of blood leaving my body,” Bozeman said. “I decided to give it another try because you only live once and I like helping people.”

The prospective pharmacist’s friend Emily Callender of Gulfport helped to ease Bozeman’s fear of the process. However, she ultimately wanted to join Bozeman and donate blood.

“I’m glad my friend can give blood, but I didn’t pass the pre-screening. Helping her is another way I can support the cause,” Callender said.

Jones College sociology instructor Stacy Ruth said she has been supporting the cause for more than 30 years. She said she gladly gives her “O+” blood at every possible opportunity. Ruth said Vitalant often calls her to donate because of her “universal” blood type which most people can receive, despite their blood type.

Vitalant collected 103 units of blood during the three-day blood drive on the Jones College campus with 130 students attempting to give. Donor recruitment representative Sara Dyess said more than 300 lives will be saved with the donations. As an extra incentive to donate, everyone who gave blood was given the test for COVID-19 antibodies. 

For more information about Vitalant and its services, visit www.vitalant.org/Home.aspx.

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