Daniel Peek (left) and Madison
A blood drive will be held at the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. April 5-6 in the Reynolds Room of the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center, giving the campus community and local residents the chance to save a life just like a UAFS student recently did.
Daniel Peek of Fort Smith was recently able to meet a woman from Tulsa named Madison who had received the blood Peek had donated during her battle with cancer. Her mother credits the blood transfusions with keeping her alive and strong enough to continue treatment for the cancer, which is now in remission.
Peek had been donating blood since high school, so donating blood at the UAFS blood drives once he enrolled there was a “no-brainer.”
“I'm a Christian, and am actively involved in multiple ministries on campus who encourage donating blood,” Peek said. “If Christ died to save me, why shouldn't I donate some blood that could possibly save someone else's life?”
Peek said he has donated blood nearly every time the Arkansas Blood Institute has come to campus for blood drives, which are held four times per year at UAFS. But he didn’t realize that they tracked whose blood went to the patients in need until he was contacted in mid-January by the Oklahoma Blood Institute about an opportunity to meet a donor who had received his blood.
“When I thought about my blood being able to help save Madison’s life, I felt great,” Peek said. “I knew the blood I donated would go to help others, but this gave me something that really put it into perspective.”
When he met Madison, it was an emotional moment.
“Getting to meet her was awesome. I was nervous, but when I got on stage to actually meet her, it turned out great,” Peek said. “It was a good feeling to be able to help someone.”
The experience just reinforced the importance of giving blood to Peek, a criminal justice major slated to graduate in May.
“Blood donations have helped some of my own loved ones, which is another reason it's so big for me,” he said. “I strongly encourage everyone to go donate blood because you'll never know who around will need it someday.”
The blood drive is sponsored by the UAFS Student Activities Office and is free and open to the public.
UAFS coordinates several drives annually between January and September each year. The blood is given to the Arkansas Blood Institute, who distributes it to 14 hospitals in western Arkansas, including Sparks Health System and Mercy Hospital in Fort Smith.
Appointments for the blood drive may be made at the student activities office, by calling 479-788-7699 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.
About the University of Arkansas - Fort Smith
The University of Arkansas – Fort Smith is the premiere regional institution of Western Arkansas, connecting education with careers and serving as a driver of economic development and quality of place in the greater Fort Smith region. Through a small campus, dedicated professors, and the university’s unique bond with its community, students at UAFS are able to do more in the areas they are passionate about, both on- and off-campus, in a way that prepares them for post-graduate success. To find out how you can do more at UAFS, visit www.uafs.edu.