For some students it was an ordinary day of lectures when the San Diego Blood Bank arrived on campus. For City College student Nathan Proctor, it was a day of remembrance for the victims and first responders who lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attacks, which left a big impact on his life.
“I was 16 when 9/11 happened, so I remember it pretty clearly,” Proctor said. “Then after high school I joined the military because of 9/11. I did nine years in the military, so now I’m just giving back.”
The City College Health Center held the blood drive event on Wednesday, Sept. 11 in commemoration of the lives that were lost. According to the director of Student Health Services, Dottie Cordell, City College was honored and lucky to have a blood drive take place on the significant day.
“This is such a generous campus in terms of their time, their donations to try to help others,” she said. “There’s a lot of students who don’t have much … but still every month they show up for these blood drives. I’m so grateful.”
One of the students, Lizbeth Jimenez, who is studying social work at City College, shared a unique interest in helping her community.
“I am registered with BeTheMatch for a bone marrow donor,” Jimenez said. “I donated blood and they told me I have a rare HLA and that most likely they would be able to find someone I can donate to. So when I saw this, I thought I could still do something to help someone else.”
To Cordell, Sept. 11 means more than just the blood drive. Being native to New York, the day hits close to home, marking the shock and fear she had felt.
“It was a day of incredible sorrow, as having my family be from New York and being a nurse and seeing that tragedy,” she said. “It’s always a really sad and hard day.”
Having a background in pediatrics before starting her career at City College, Cordell hopes that the donated blood aids infants and children in San Diego County.
“To see the spirit that our students give each and every month makes me very emotional,” Cordell said. “We could do it 100 times over if we could.”
Representatives from the San Diego Blood Bank were surprised by the turnout of 11 scheduled appointments and over 30 walk-ins.
This is the second blood drive this semester. An August drive collected 27 pints, saving 81 lives, according to Cordell. The 35 donors registered included 21 first-timers.
Staffwriter Lacey Stefano contributed to this report.