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Signal Mountain students out for blood

Signal Mountain High School seniors Lauren Handley and Anna Chennault know the importance of giving blood, because both have been close to recipients of blood transfusions.

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Signal Mountain High School seniors Anna Chennault and Lauren Handley, from left, are holding a blood drive at the school Friday, Feb. 15 and encourage community members to donate from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. that day.

Handley’s friend was in a drunk driving accident and was in the intensive care unit for a period before he died, during which time he required several blood transfusions.

“My grandfather had cancer and he had to have blood for that,” said Chennault.

The two wanted to do something to impact others’ lives for their senior project, and thought a lifesaving blood drive was the perfect solution. Their drive is being held during SMHS Community Service Day Friday, Feb. 15 when community members are encouraged to give blood from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The girls have a goal of 100 donors. They have about 80 students currently signed up to give so far and hope the community will help them reach their goal, they said.

“It’s hard to talk people into giving blood because they think it hurts or they don’t have time,” said Handley. “One donation of blood can save up to three lives, so for that little pain from the needle, you’re saving a person’s life.”

The procedure is also very quick at just 10 minutes, noted Chennault

“This is for our community; they’re helping out their neighbors and their friends,” said Handley. “It’s a really good cause.”

As part of their project the girls researched the different conditions that require blood transfusions, and they were surprised to learn how many exist and how many people they affect.

“I had no idea how many donations it really takes a day; 400 [units] for just our small community [the Chattanooga area],” said Handley. “It’s really hard to reach that goal.”

Anyone willing to give is welcome to show up that day.

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