The Clemson Carolina Blood Battle, held by the American Red Cross, invites students to participate in a good cause and show their school spirit by donating blood through a friendly competition.
This is one of the largest blood drives in the country held annually the week before the Carolina-Clemson football game, according to the UofSC Office of the Provost.
The battle has been around for 35 years and aims to see which school, Carolina or Clemson, can receive the most blood donations.
The three official locations for the blood drive are inside the Russell House Ballroom, and in two blood mobiles outside the Thomas Cooper Library and the Close-Hipp Building.
Carolina’s goal for this year is to collect 2,500 units of blood. The university is looking to beat last year’s count of 1,900 units.
The only qualification for a regular blood donation of one pint is being over 5’1″ tall and 110 pounds and being over the age of 16. Before you are able to donate, a nurse has to review your medical history and test your iron levels and blood pressure. You can qualify for the “Power Red” blood donation if you are female, 5’5” tall and 150 pounds, or male, 5’1” tall and 130 pounds. The Power Red is where a donation of two pints of blood is taken.
Rachel Young, the vice president of the Carolina Clemson Blood Drive, said you can save three lives with just one donation, and with the Power Red, you can save six.
“Not only that, but you can help us beat Clemson. Every blood donation is going to help us get there, just one step closer at a time. It’s a great way to fuel the fire between the two schools and it’s a great way for both schools to give back,” Young said. “You never know when someone might need blood. If something happens to me, I want to make sure that I’ve also got that supply, so encouraging people to get out and help is important to me.”
Chrystalyn Byrd, a third-year UofSC student and yearly blood donator, recognizes the importance of helping others and donating blood, especially since she is going into the medical field. After she donated blood on Wednesday, she said people should not be hesitant to donate because of their own personal fears.
“Everybody is worried about passing out or getting sick, but [you’re good] as long as you prep ahead of time and make sure you eat good and are hydrated,” Byrd said. “They have a lot of stuff here [in the Russell House Ballroom] to help. They are offering snacks and whatever you need. They take care of you if for some reason you do start feeling bad.”
The blood battle results tend to work in Carolina’s favor because UofSC has more students attending the university compared to Clemson.
“This is something that we know we can usually win because we’ve got a bigger student body. To the people coming out and donating, you can help us beat Clemson in this one way,” Byrd said.
People need to continue to donate throughout the week before the Carolina-Clemson football game, according to Byrd.
“So far, I know that we have gotten around 80% of what we needed for the past two days. We do need to pick it up these last three days to beat Clemson because we heard they are doing well as well, which is good because we want as many donations from South Carolina as possible,” Byrd said.
The UofSC Office of the Provost said those interested in donating blood can visit www.redcrossblood.org or use the Blood Donor App and enter sponsor code, “Gamecocks,” to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are also welcome.
The Russell House Ballroom is one of the several locations where people can give blood for the Clemson Carolina Blood Drive.
Chrystalyn Byrd, a third-year UofSC student, donated one unit of blood for the Clemson Carolina Blood Drive. Byrd has been donating blood yearly since high school.
Blood donated through the American Red Cross is transported in boxes to a lab to be processed and stored.