Last week as Breast Cancer Awareness month came to a close, the Jackson Academy community had a fantastic opportunity to honor those who have survived or are currently fighting cancer. Cancer patients often require blood or blood products, such as plasma or platelets, and so on Wednesday, Mississippi Blood Services pulled into the JA parking lot. The organization parked two vans at the school and turned the PAC lobby into a Halloween-themed blood donation site.
For JA senior Julianna Copeland, the choice to give was especially meaningful. Her mother is currently battling breast cancer, and Julianna decided to donate blood for the first time in support of her mother and compassion for those in need of transfusions. Julianna was one of many students, staff, and faculty who gave blood to support those in need of it. Students were required to be over the age of 17 or, if they were 16, to have parental consent before donating.
“This has been outstanding! We had 50 people come to donate,” Sheri Book, Southwest Mississippi Blood Services Representative, said. Of those fifty, ten individuals were giving blood for the first time. “I think that is remarkable,” Book continued, “I think it shows the kindness of the hearts of the students here.”
In the state of Mississippi, only four percent of citizens donate blood. Nationally, someone needs blood every two seconds. Book hopes to instill a commitment to continue donating blood in everyone she meets, especially young men and women like JA’s students. Students who give blood twice in their senior year receive red cords to wear at graduation. “It starts here with community service, Book said. “I have no doubt that these students will continue to donate.”