U-M shoots for fourth straight victory over OSU, in 30th annual Blood Battle

Campus-wide blood drives start today and end Nov. 18

U-M student Kip Drewry, a volunteer with the campus Red Cross club, gives blood during the 2009 Blood Battle. (Photo courtesy of the Washtenaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross)

Although U-M and Ohio State don’t square off on the gridiron until Nov. 26, the two schools already are competing for victory in another arena.

Today marks the beginning of the 30th annual Blood Battle, a blood drive competition pitting the Wolverines against the Buckeyes to see which school can collect more blood donations by Nov. 18.

U-M has won the last three years and is aiming to collect at least 2,550 pints of the blood this year after collecting more than 2,600 pints last year.

Starting today, students, staff, faculty and community members can donate blood during the two-week competition at one of more than 30 drives across campus. The event is sponsored by the American Red Cross Blood Services Region of Southeastern Michigan, as well as U-M’s Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.

Jessie Baker, a U-M senior and co-chair of this year’s event, says it’s great to see the U-M community unite for such an important cause – and to beat Ohio State. Each pint of donated blood can save up to three lives, Baker says.

“My favorite part of the event is seeing the way the entire campus comes together in an effort to both defeat our rival and save thousands of lives,” says Baker. “During the last week of the event, especially at our drives that have goals over 200 pints, there is an excitement and enthusiasm shared by all involved that cannot be beat.”

Donors are encouraged to sign up at www.redcrossblood.org prior to donating blood using the sponsor code “goblue.” A full schedule of the drives is available at this Red Cross website.

Donors must be in good health, at least 17 years old and weigh a minimum of 110 pounds. 16-year-old donors can donate with parental permission.

In addition to the Blood Battle, the Wolverines for Life collaboration between the U-M Health System and other health groups, is sponsoring the Wolverines-Buckeye Challenge, a competition to sign up the most organ donors before the football game. Last year, U-M won the challenge.

“Be a Hero at the Big House,” hosted by Wolverines for Life, is new this year and is expected to be U-M’s largest donor drive ever. The event is scheduled for Nov. 16 at Michigan Stadium in the club level. From 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., participants can donate blood, sign up on the Michigan Organ Donor Registry, be screened for bone marrow donation and tour the club-level seating area. Appointments for blood donation can be made at www.wolverinesforlife.org.
Blood Battle, www.bloodbattle.org
Red Cross, www.redcrossblood.org
Gift of Life Michigan, http://www.giftoflifemichigan.org/become_a_donor
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