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The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

The Student News Site of the Latin School of Chicago

The Forum

Latin School Blood Drive a Big Success

Poster made by junior Lizzy Miller promoting the February 22 Blood Drive.
Lizzy Miller
Poster made by junior Lizzy Miller promoting the February 22 Blood Drive.

Upper School English teacher Ann McGlinn had just started graduate school at the University of Montana. She was so excited—she was studying poetry, teaching undergraduates for the first time, and had a huge new group of friends.

Suddenly, Ms. McGlinn’s ulcerative colitis—an inflammatory bowel disease that can cause blood loss in severe cases—took a turn for the worse. After becoming extremely weak from blood loss, she was taken by her friends to a hospital, where she had to be stabilized by blood transfusion so that she could be flown to the Mayo Clinic for further care.

“I was so healthy [and had] never ever thought that I would ever need anything like [blood transfusions],” Ms. McGlinn said. She ultimately had to have her colon removed and needed another blood transfusion in preparation for the operation.

“Because of the generosity of strangers, I was able to get this life-altering surgery,” she said. “Within six months I was back at school and back with my friends. It completely changed my life.”

On February 22 Latin hosted their biannual blood drive to help people in need of blood—as Ms. McGlinn was. Latin worked with Vitalant, a non-profit blood services provider, and all eligible members of the Latin community were encouraged to donate blood.

“I was very moved by Ms. McGlinn’s experience,” Upper School librarian Gretchen Metzler said. “It was the first time in a long time that I managed to successfully give blood.”

The blood donation process took around 50 minutes per person. Students looking to donate were expected to do so during their free periods. All donors were advised to have a meal and water within two hours of donating and were provided with a coupon to get a free flatbread sandwich from Papa John’s.

“I donated blood because it’s one of the easiest ways to save someone’s life,” junior Kayley McCutcheon said.

”Blood can’t just be created; people have to donate and volunteer,” Kayley added. “I encourage my peers to donate because innocent people all over need blood. It’s the right thing to do.”

In the United States, someone requires blood every two seconds. Blood donations are often life-saving, as blood is crucial to surgeries, chronic medical conditions, cancer treatment, and more. Blood also cannot effectively be substituted or manufactured, which makes blood drives very important—particularly in the face of an ongoing emergency blood shortage with the lowest number of blood donors in 20 years.

“I’ve run blood drives for 15 years at Latin,” Director of Student Life Tim Cronister said. “I used to give blood and [had a period where] I couldn’t give blood, so I thought that it’d be nice to run the blood drives while I couldn’t give.”

A total of 39 people donated to Latin’s February 22 blood drive. Based on the statistic that a single blood donation can save up to three lives, Latin’s 2024 drive supported up to 117 people in need.

“I’m so impressed by the generosity of so many people here—the students and staff and faculty,” Ms. McGlinn said. “So many students showed up and donated blood, and it just makes me so ecstatic, because your donation of blood can literally save people’s lives.”

She added, “For one hour of your time and giving your blood, you’re either—in my case—positively altering someone’s life or you’re saving a life. What can be better than that?”

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About the Contributors
Sofia Grimm, Digital Editor & News Editor
Sofia Grimm ('25) is delighted to serve her second year as Digital Editor and her first year as News Editor. Her third year writing for The Forum, Sofia has covered both international news with a focus on its impact on Latin and highlighted student talent. Outside of The Forum, Sofia is the founder of the Physics Club and co-head of the Model UN Team.
Lizzy Miller, Sports Editor
Lizzy Miller ('25) is a junior at Latin and is so excited to return to The Forum as a Sports Editor this year. This is Lizzy's second year writing for The Forum, and she loves highlighting the activities happening within Latin, whether that be arts or sports. Outside of The Forum, Lizzy is a member of the Student Service Learning Board and the Latin Student Investment Fund, and plays on the girls volleyball team. She is excited to continue writing for The Forum this year!

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    Ann McGlinnApr 13, 2024 at 9:13 am

    Thanks, Sofia, for such a thoughtful and well-written article on this year’s blood drive!