Eudora pumps up for blood drive
Friday morning a blood vessel zipped through the Kansas highway system. It changed lanes as if it were in an artery a mile wide and finally stopped in the C&S Market parking lot.
The vessel, a large bus brought in by the Community Blood Center, gave locals a chance to participate in a blood drive.
In the two-and-a-half hours it remained parked, the mobile unit helped 20 people donate 18 pints of blood.
"I feel like it's a way I can contribute," Eudora resident Brenda Wiley said.
The process of giving blood in a bus wasn't all that different from normal donations. Wiley and others stepped inside and filled out standard screening forms. When they were ready to give their blood, they moved to reclining chairs built into the side of the bus.
If it weren't for the narrowness of the bus, it would be like almost any other collection center.
"It's self contained and usually a pretty quick process," said Leann DeLong donor recruiter for the Community Blood Center said. "I know the staff likes it, too. It's a lot easier than hauling all the equipment around."
The Eudora Lions Club sponsored the drive that met and surpassed the goal for the morning.
The blood center set the bar at 13 pints and the five bonus pints couldn't have come at a better time.
"We've been in a critical shortage, mostly type O," DeLong said.
This shortage came to a head last year when depleted stocks forced the center to go even farther in the efforts to find donors and postponed some elective surgeries in Kansas City, DeLong said.
"We're certainly hoping that that doesn't happen this month again," DeLong said.
Eudora did its part in assuring it doesn't.
Wiley has given 13 pints herself over the years, and Larry Gantenbein also has gotten to know the blood workers.
"Every time they have it in Eudora I donate," Gantenbein said. "They know me. They know when I can donate and when I can't."
The bus catered to veterans and those new to donating.
Friday's stop marked Jill Gibbon's first experience giving blood.
"I'm not afraid of needles, so it should be OK," Gibbons said.
She said she hopes to set an example for her sons by donating.
"It's something I want them to do when they get older, to give something back," Gibbons said.
By giving back through donating blood one can help many people, DeLong said.
"One unit of blood can save two people's lives because the blood is processed once it gets back to the center into other products," she said.
Overall the Eudora drive was a success, DeLong said.
"We had a very good response today, so we are very pleased," she said.