NEIA Red Cross
Blood Brothers at Iowa State
Gannon and Jack White are brothers, and the two of them share a lot. Both are marketing majors at Iowa State. They have similar eyes and the same blood type. And they share a commitment to blood donation as executive committee members for Blood Drive at Iowa State University.
Gannon White, a senior, acts as treasurer for Blood Drive, which hosts one of the largest student-run blood drives in the country every fall and spring. He learned about the importance of blood donation at a very young age when he saw his little brother become so sick that he needed to be hospitalized and have a transfusion. Those images stuck with Gannon White through the years, motivating him to be a regular blood donor and member of the student-run blood drive.
“I donate because of my little brother Jack," says Gannon White. "I was only three or so at the time, but I remember him being in the hospital. I know there are so many people who have stories like Jack's."
Jack White, a sophomore, is that little brother who was hospitalized. At the age of one-and-a-half he developed Kawasaki disease. The disease causes high fever and swelling of blood vessels. Jack White received a plasma transfusion as part of his treatment. Even though he was too young to remember the experience, the importance of blood donation led him to become a blood donor and join Blood Drive at Iowa State. He is the sponsorship co-executive, and helps to oversee fellow committee members as they recruit Ames businesses to support Blood Drive each year.
"We reach out to local businesses and let them know we're trying to do something good here," says Jack White. "I wouldn't be here without transfusions, and I want to give back."
This past week Blood Drive collected 880 units of blood over the course of the three day spring drive. Thanks to the dedication of Blood Drive committee members, the event attracted 345 first-time donors.
To learn more about blood donation and to make an appointment to give, visit redcrossblood.org.