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Drew Waldorf/the Gauntlet

Tap a vein for your fellow humans

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For the third straight year, they're out for blood.

Beginning Mon., Jan. 16 and running until Fri., Feb. 17, The Youth Donors of Canada and Canadian Blood Services will team up for the inter-faculty Bloody Cup Challenge, as well as the Western Canada Blood Competition. Both events are encouraging university students to donate and help save lives.

The Bloody Cup is a donation race amongst the faculties of business, science, engineering, social science/humanities and health sciences/kinesiology/nursing. Although the challenge is still a priority for the YDC, the big picture involves all of Western Canada.

"We're trying to promote the inter-city university challenge," said YDC Vice-President External Lionel Li. The Western Canadian event, which is in its first year, is a challenge among the U of C, the University of Alberta and the University of Saskatchewan to see who can donate the most.

"From September to April, we're always looking for new people," said Canadian Blood Services Community Development Coordinator Ingrid Cook. "We're hoping to get 250 units from the U of C, with a unit being about one pint. A cancer patient will use eight units a week, and one unit can save three lives."

Everyone seems to understand the importance of giving blood, although Cook said few make the time.

"Only 2 per cent of the university population donates," said Cook. "Most blood comes from our regular donors, who are in their 40s and 50s. They're getting old and will be needing blood themselves."

Donating is an easy procedure. "From walking in to walking out, the process takes about a full hour," said Canadian Blood Services Charge Nurse Trish Stuhlsatz. "The process is very safe; there is no chance of catching something from donating."

Stuhlsatz said 135 units were collected at the U of C Mon., Jan. 16.

Students who regularly donate are aware of the benefits. The blood will be used for emergencies, surgeries, treating cancer patients and hemophiliacs, and even for women during labour.

"It's an easy way to give," said Jeff Clemens, third year English major. "It doesn't take anything from me... except blood."

Students who wish to donate can also use the 'Lifebus,' a program which takes students right from MacEwan Student Centre to a donation clinic.

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