Reprinted with permission of The Imperial Valley Press

By WILLIAM ROLLER, Staff Writer | 0 comments

Selfless Imperial Valley College students who gave one of the most precious gifts, blood donations, received a reward in kind, coupons from Jack in the Box for their gracious efforts.

LifeStream blood donation centers with five fixed site from La Quinta to Victorville paid a visit to IVC with its bloodmobile Tuesday. Their mobile units visit about 25 different colleges across southern California, said Don Escalante, LifeStream public relations specialist.

"We're always looking for opportunities for more donors to avail themselves," Escalante said. "We encourage donors to donate as often as they can."

Blood type O negative is the universal donor that can donate to any other type but they are only about 1 in 14 people. It is important to have this type in supply especially for emergencies because sometimes it is not possible to determine a patients' blood type immediately.

Correctional science student Mariah Alcalah was a first-time donor who said, she felt good about giving blood.

"I think it's important to save lives," she said. "It's the first time I've seen the bloodmobile on campus but I think it's a good idea."

Dalila Galvan is a criminal justice student who is also a first time donor.

"I just wanted to give blood," she said. "I got a campus email. So I felt it was important to come out."

Miguel Verdugo, a second-year administration of justice student was also a first-time donor. Miguel also was alerted to the need through a campus email. He actually told friends who offered to accompany him to the bloodmobile but they did not appear, he mentioned.

"Many people need it," Miguel said. "People with bone marrow cancer need it for their health."

Escalante cited a particular need for blood platelets one component of the blood that especially helps the blood to clot. And it only has a short shelf-life, five days. Since this process isolates the platelets it can be a more time-consuming procedure, perhaps an hour and a half but it is a critical need, he stressed.

Cancer patients going through chemotherapy or radiation often lose a lot of platelets and can become vulnerable to bleeding.

"We encourage young people to donate," Escalante said. "It's a great gift to give and you can't manufacture it. It only comes from us."

Staff Writer William Roller can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 760-337-3452.