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Posted on Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 12:30 p.m.

Hundreds turn out at Big House to give blood, register as organ donors

By Daniel Brenner

The second annual Be a Hero at the Big House donor drive Sunday drew more than 800 people who donated 230 pints of blood and registered as organ and bone marrow donors.

The event resulted in 110 people joining the organ donor registry and 96 being screened as potential donors by the Be the Match national bone marrow registry program, the University of Michigan Health System said.

The event at Michigan Stadium was a project of Wolverines for Life, a collaboration between the University of Michigan Health System and other University of Michigan groups, schools and departments, along with the American Red Cross, Be the Match/National Marrow Donor Program, Gift of Life Michigan and the Michigan Eye-Bank.

Also on Sunday, Gift of Life Michigan awarded Michigan Athletics the Donate Life Champion award for its support for organ, eye and tissue donation.

Holly Eliot, project manager for the UM Transplant Center, said 300 people had signed up before Sunday's event. "We're as busy as we could possible be," she said.

The blood drive was especially important this year due to superstorm Sandy, organizers said. Mary Masson, senior public relations representative for the University of Michigan Health System, said more then 350 drives were canceled on the East Cost. "That's thousands of donations not being collected," she said.

Joe McNevin, supervisor for Red Cross Southeastern Michigan, said the storm has generated a lot more interest for people to get involved. "That's what it's all about," McNevin says. "Doing our part."

Sunday's totals count toward U-M's annual challenges against Ohio State for organ donation registrations and blood donation collection.

The annual Wolverine-Buckeye challenge allows people to sign up as organ donors upon their death and have their pledge tallied for their favorite school. U-M co-sponsors the Wolverine-Buckeye Challenge with Gift of Life Michigan, which is the state’s federally designated organ and tissue recovery organization.

It acts as intermediary between donors, their families and hospital staff.

To sign up and give credit U-M, go to, click on the button to become a donor and sign up for U-M. The challenge ends at 11:59 p.m. Nov. 22, in advance of the Nov. 24 football game between Ohio State and U-M.

You can also participate in the ongoing Blood Battle sponsored by the American Red Cross Blood Services Region of Southeastern Michigan, as well as Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and other organizations. More than 30 drives around the U-M campus have been scheduled. Go to to register. Use the promotion code “goblue.”

Information about bone marrow donation is available at


Danny Haszard

Wed, Nov 21, 2012 : 6:17 p.m.

Thanks for posting this news,someone needs blood every 2 seconds,give the gift of life! I was a non-donating Jehovah's Witness for 33 years and now a regular Red Cross blood donor with my 'blood buddy' girlfriend. Jehovah's Witnesses blood transfusion confusion Jehovah's Witnesses take blood products now in 2012. They take all fractions of blood.This includes hemoglobin, albumin, clotting factors, cryosupernatant and cryo-poor too, and many, many, others. If one adds up all the blood fractions the JWs takes, it equals a whole unit of blood. Any, many of these fractions are made from thousands upon thousands of units of donated blood. Jehovah's Witnesses now accept every fraction of blood except the membrane of the red blood cell. -- Danny Haszard


Tue, Jun 4, 2013 : 11:14 p.m.

Wow Danny you was a Jehovah Witness for 33 years...I've been told that the Watch Tower Society was suppose to change their teachings on blood transfusions...I hope its true!


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Sorry about that scrap on the bottom.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 3:07 p.m.

that's ok. by the way, while I was there I was able to take some cool pictures of the 50-yard line, having brought my camera. GO BLUE!!!!


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 10:35 p.m.

Elouise, the real start would be for these 'few' hundreds to learn that they can donate every 8 weeks; and then to do so. While this donation is great if they donated just a few more times a year it would make a huge difference. Blood has a shelf life but it is needed all year round. The need takes no vacations so the Red Cross has to rely on a very few regular donors between these big public events. So for me this big show will only really be effective if it can make regular donors out of once-a-year donors. In times of crisis donors can typically be found; September 11th demonstrated that, even without having any need. Its in other times though the Red Cross has to plead for donors. For example, every year around July 4th it seems supplies are low. So if you are reading this please consider becoming a regular donor. You will be helping so many people with a unique need that only can be met with your donation. And of course, blood is a renewable resource; so please donate early and often. Oh and Mr. Brenner, I suspect that Mr. Powers could not possibly be waiting for his 'waif' to finish donating. I believe one must weigh at least 110 pounds to donate. Don't quote me on that number; I haven't had to worry about meeting that requirement.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

abc, I donated last sunday and aside from the needle sticks(esp. the one on my finger!!)it felt really good. count me in.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 2:20 p.m.

Mr. Kimball I was trying to keep it simple so I chose no to mention 'double reds' or 'pheresis' for that matter. The latter of which I am a veteren of since I am not A- or O-, but I am CMV negative. Nevertheless the bread and butter of the Red Cross's program is simple donations of whole blood, which is a process that most anyone can do, within about an hour, every 8 weeks. as they You are

Ed Kimball

Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 1:42 p.m.

abc: Good comment, but there is one minor detail to correct. Some donors (O- and A-) can give "double red cells". The Red Cross takes two pints, centrifuges out the red cells, and returns the plasma to the donor's vein, all through one needle. Those donors get credit for donating two pints, but they can't donate again for 16 weeks. Not all Red Cross facilities currently have the equipment to accept double red cells, but they had several of the machines at the stadium on Sunday. I hope Mr. Powers was waiting for his "wife", not his "waif".


Mon, Nov 5, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

Just "hundreds"? The stadium holds over 100,000... It's a start, but only a start.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 8:12 p.m.

I donate every 8 weeks, I am an organ donor, and also a member on I would donate double red cells every 16 weeks but my body cannot handle it. I also am severely anemic and have to have iron infusions every 2 weeks. The infusions help my overall health, while still allowing me to be able to donate. Having lost family members due to lack of donors, blood, plasma, bone marrow, whatever, I believe that it's very important that more people sign up and donate. @mady, I am by no means "complaining". I just find it sad that some people only tend to come to these types of events, not necessarily this one specifically, when there is incentive OTHER THAN saving a life. I am not demeaning anybody at all. Much appreciation to those who came out and were able to donate, no matter what reason you had for doing so.


Tue, Nov 6, 2012 : 2:59 p.m.

Elouise, in complaining about the *arguably* low turnout, you demean those of us who actually donated. of which I happen to be one. don't appreciate it at all.