The Campus Red Cross regularly organizes blood drives and educates students about how they can help save a life. With blood in constant demand, they hope to not just persuade people to donate once, but throughout their entire lives.

Even if she didn’t know it, Chelsea Browne’s blood transfusions were vital to her survival after an aneurysm sent the Ohio University senior into open heart surgery. The surgery was successful, but not without complications that led to large amounts of blood being lost. It was during these complications that the Red Cross helped save Chelsea’s life.

“A lot of students don’t realize the benefit of donating blood,” said Jenny Hall-Jones, advisor to Ohio University Campus Red Cross. “But you’re literally saving somebody’s life. There’s no other way for when you have an open heart surgery or you’re doing cancer treatment and you need a blood transfusion.”

Blood plays a vital role in the recovery of those undergoing these life-or-death operations. But what many students don’t realize is the demand for blood is constant—and almost anyone can help.

“Blood only has a certain shelf life. You can’t just stick it in a depository and have it last forever.”

Even Chelsea, whose life was saved by a blood transfusion, admits that before her surgery, she really knew nothing about blood.

“It's something that kind of slips your mind, you know, when you see the Red Cross posters that they're having a blood drive,” said Chelsea. “But now I know it's really important for them to get as many donors as they can because there are so many people that need even more than two blood transfusions in a day.”