Seniors collect blood, save lives

Kaika+Camanse%2C+October+17%2C+2011+Web

Photo by Hoku Krueger

Senior Kaika Camanse fills out an appointment reminder for one of the donors at his collaborative senior project blood drive in the Ka'ulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium on Monday, Oct. 17. He and his co-organizers, along with the Blood Bank of Hawai'i raised 83 pints of blood to help save the lives of those who need it.

Amanda Lee

By Hoku Krueger, news co-editor

PUKALANI – Kamehameha Schools Maui hosted a Blood Bank of Hawaiʻi blood drive on Monday, Oct. 17, in Kaʻulaheanuiokamoku Gymnasium. The drive was the Ho’ike Nui product of seniors Heather Kahalehili, Jesse Hozaki, Ikaika Camanse, Shannon Abarra and Tiasha Akre.

The team of seniors helped to raise 83 pints of blood, almost half of the 200 pints needed daily by the state of Hawaiʻi.

“We actually didn’t accomplish our goal, which was to reach 100 pints of blood, but I definitely feel like we still did a good thing,” Kahalehili said. According to Kahalehili, one pint of blood can save three lives.

The seniors faced several problems throughout the day. The blood drive, which was scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m., started 45 minutes late because the Blood Bank of Hawaiʻi team’s flight from Oʻahu to Maui arrived late.

“We started rough, but eventually caught up and did really good,” said Ms. Brandy Cajudoy, senior project mentor and high school Algebra II teacher .

Another hindrance was that 25 potential donors were deferred for a variety of reasons, including low levels of iron in their blood, a high temperature and nausea during the drawing of their blood.

People from the community were invited to donate blood, along students from KSM who were at least 18-years-old or 17-years-old with parental consent.

“I try to make it every time they come to Maui. Fresh blood is needed every day, and it’s a good way for people to help others in the community,” donor Randy Bartlett said.

Camanse said that the biggest issue they faced in organizing the event was not being able to find people who wanted to donate.

“Not many people are willing to give blood because of their fear of needles,” Camanse said.

Senior Taylor Harris was among those who felt uneasy about donating “but after the needle was in I was fine,” she said.

According to Mrs. Cajudoy, this year marks the 5th year that KSM is hosting a blood drive, and she said that last year’s drive collected the second-most pints of all Hawai’i schools. “And we only have one a year,” she said. The school that collected the most pints had several drives throughout the year, and their total pints collected was the sum of all the pints collected at each drive added together.

“One of the blood bank’s main goals is to reach out to high school students so that they will make a habit of donating blood. One of the statistics they gave us is that about 60% of people will need a blood product at some time in their lives, but only 2% of people donate blood,” Cajudoy said.

The next blood drive on Maui will take place on Dec. 26-Dec. 29 at Maui Economic Opportunity. To make an appointment or request more information, call the Blood Bank of Hawaiʻi at 845-9966 or visit their website at www.bbh.org.