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Record-Setting Weber State Blood Drive Underway

OGDEN, Utah – As the pandemic takes a toll on blood donations, Weber State University stepped in to motivate people to roll up their sleeves. Organizers believe it could become the largest blood donation event in Utah in the past decade.

They have big plans for the drive because, in a year when people are staying home to stay safe from COVID-O19, blood donations are down while the need has not changed.

It’s something that does not take much effort, Sonia Magana donates blood several times a year.

“I like to donate. If I’m able to do it, why not come and do it,” she said.

Donor Fae Higgins said, “I just think that if one of my family members was in an accident, I’d try to help.” She said it’s not fun, but she has still donated more than 90 times in her life.

Then there is Melinda Patterson who needed her husband to talk her into donating on Monday.

“I won’t even look at the needle, when people even draw my blood for a little vial, I won’t even look at it. So, this is a big deal.”

The short amount of time it takes can turn into something big. It did for Benjamin Donner 18 months ago.

“We were hike and had an injury and I had an allergic reaction to a medication, and was losing blood internally,” Donner said.

Blood donations saved his life. “It was scary. It was one of those times that I wasn’t sure I was going to wake up the next day,” he described.

Donner also happens to be the executive director of the Red Cross of Northern Utah. He said it’s been tough getting donors out during the pandemic.

With the help of the Dee Events Center and Weber State University, he’s hopeful that at least a thousand people will find out this week that they can donate safely.

“It’s controlled, we’re socially distanced, masks, sanitizing and everything is safe and secure,” Donner said.

You never know where your blood can end up but it could mean the world to someone else, like Benjamin Donner. “I never got to say thank you to those four individuals that saved my life, that kept my kids’ dad here,” he said.

The blood drive runs through Friday. You can sign up online.

As a bonus, all donations will be tested for COVID antibodies.

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