Soccer For Life! Gustie Soccer Programs Donate Blood To Red Cross Posted on March 9th, 2017 by

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus men’s and women’s soccer teams participated in an American Red Cross blood drive last Wednesday. The programs had a great turnout by their student-athletes, which contributed to a successful blood drive held in Alumni Hall.

“We had a really positive response from both the teams – the men’s and women’s soccer programs,” said head coaches Mike Middleton and Laura Burnett-Kurie in a joint statement. “Everyone was keen to help out, and support the drive in any way they could.”

Facts from American Red Cross

  • Donating blood is a safe process.
  • Blood donation is a simple four-step process: registration, medical history and mini-physical, donation and refreshments.

“We also had several players give blood for the first time,” Middleton said. “Hopefully, that may lead to a lifetime of helping giving blood. It’s such a worthwhile cause. Both Laura BK and I are so proud of the response from the students.”

  • Every blood donor is given a mini-physical, checking the donor’s temperature, blood
  • pressure, pulse and hemoglobin to ensure it is safe for the donor to give blood.

“Not everyone is eligible to give, and the Red Cross does a screening process,” said Middleton. “I lived into the UK in the 1980’s for example, as such I may have been exposed to Mad Cow disease, so was ineligible, which may explain rather a lot.”

The actual blood donation typically takes less than 10-12 minutes. The entire process, from the time you arrive to the time you leave, takes about an hour and 15 minutes.

  • Healthy bone marrow makes a constant supply of red cells, plasma and platelets. The body will replenish the elements given during a blood donation – some in a matter of hours, others longer.
  • Most donated red blood cells must be used within 42 days of collection.
  • The average adult has about 10 pints of blood in his body. Roughly 1 pint is given during a donation.
  • A healthy donor may donate red blood cells every 56 days or Power Red every 112 days.
  • Every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood.
  • A single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.

“The woman running the blood drive thought it was a great idea and was excited about all the support from our athletes for the Red Cross,” said Matt Ouren.

  • Eighty percent of the blood donations given to the Red Cross are collected at mobile blood drives set up at community organizations, companies, high schools, colleges, places of worship or military installations.
  • Two most common reasons cited by people who don’t give blood are: “Never thought about it” and “I don’t like needles.”

“Freshman midfield player Jarod Petrovic gave blood for the first time,” Middleton said. “Like most of us, he is not happy at all with needles. But, he overcame that fear with his strong desire to help out.”

“I was definitely worried about needles, but it went smoothly,” Petrovic said. “The nurses were great, and I was happy to take part in such a great cause!”

According to the Red Cross often people do not donate not because they do not want to, but because they have not thought about it.  The teams tried to address that in their own small way, and did a great job.

“It was great to have our team involved in a cause that helps so many people,” Trevon Sladeck said. “It was my first time giving blood, and I will definitely do it again in future.”

“Hopefully, now we can get even more teams involved next time – we’d like to change it from Soccer for Life, to Athletes for Life!” Middleton said.

“It was really great to see so many men and women from the soccer programs come out to support the blood drive, teammates who wouldn’t normally donate feeling encouraged to make a possible life-saving donation,” Ouren said.


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