A day of helping others

Adrienne Oliva, Staff Writer

Four years ago, marketing program student Michaela Layton found herself in need of a liver transplant. Layton went to the doctor with what she thought was flu, but it turned out she was in need of an organ transplant, and fast. She was told that she had four days to live unless she got the liver transplant she needed.

Thanks to a registered organ donator, she was able to live well past four days. She was happy to share her story at Madison College’s “A Day of Giving.”

This event was a day to celebrate all the ways Madison College students can help others, and be able to save a life.

 “A Day of Giving” had a myriad of opportunities for Madison College students, including organ donor registry, blood donation, bone marrow donor swabbing, broken or used eye glasses drive, and a food drive. According to the event’s organizer, Anna Marie Hoffman, there was a focus on diversity in terms of opportunities for Madison College students, so everyone could find medium that was most comfortable for themselves.

According to Hoffman, “everybody has the inner desire to give,” and Madison College students exemplify this sentiment perfectly. Hoffman believes that college students are some of the most giving people in our country, and “A Day of Giving,” proved just that.

At one point during the event, there was no room for walk ins for the blood drive, because every spot for donators was completely filled.

Students did not only give blood, but they helped run the event. For example, Layton volunteered at the “Donate Life Wisconsin” booth. She donated her time to sign up Madison College students to be organ donors, debunk myths about being an organ donator, and tell her powerful story.

Other students from the Medical Laboratory Technician program helped with the pre-screening and cheek swabbing for students interested in being bone marrow donators. By swabbing students, they were assisting in a lifesaving process. Being a bone marrow donor saves the lives of people diagnosed with blood cancers like leukemia. Mouth swabbing puts volunteers on the registry to help those in need of a bone marrow donation find a match. Med lab tech students took time to help with the first step of this process.   

Madison College students truly took the opportunity to give it forward during this event, but there are more opportunities still open for Madison College students. There are blood drives available almost every day, and you can find the closest drive near you on Redcross.org. There will also be a follow up blood drive event at Madison College on May 4.

Not only will there be continued opportunities for blood donation, but soon there will be just as many chances for students to be added to the bone marrow donation registry. Anna Marie Hoffman herself will soon be able to do the cheek swabbing at the Madison College clinic any time during the clinic’s regular hours, so students with busy schedules will not be excluded from the donation process.

According to Hoffman, not only are Madison College students willing and wanting to help others, but they are the perfect demographic for donations. Madison College students at the perfect age for bone marrow donation, and are extremely diverse. Diversity is extremely important for the success of bone marrow, blood, and organ transplants. The more diverse the donators are, the more diverse the people being donated to are, meaning that people of all backgrounds are able to receive the lifesaving help they need.  

Madison College students are not just the donators, but many will also be the ones receiving donations currently, or in the future. Some students might need organ transplants like Layton, while others might need blood transfusions. According to the Red Cross, someone needs blood every two seconds, so it is not unlikely that many of us will benefit from donations one day.

Madison College’s “A Day of Giving” gave all students the chance to pay it forward, because many students will one day rely on the kindness of a stranger, as well. It is good to remember that it is entirely possible that you could save the life of the person sitting next to you in class, or they could save yours.