Multiple Saddleback College departments and donor organizations collaborate to host ‘Save a Life Week: Blood & Marrow Donation’

Saddleback’s ASG, human services department and nursing program partner with Be A Hero Become A Donor, One Legacy and Hoag Blood Donor Service to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation programs

Saddleback College’s campus provided accommodations and hosted this semester’s blood and bone marrow drive, “Save a Life Week,” from Monday, March 5 through Thursday, March 8 in the Student Services Center. The event featured a multifaceted force of participation from Saddleback’s Associated Student Government, the human services department and the nursing program, as well as Be A Hero Become A Donor, One Legacy and the Hoag Blood Donor Service.

According to ASG’s current president, Erica Delamare, the organization of the blood drive was lead by Paloma Chacon, who is the events director of ASG. Sue Forster, the account marketing manager for Hoag Blood Donor Service also mentioned Chris Hargraves, the director of student life, as a coordinator for the event. Besides “Save a Life Week,” ASG has supported and hosted multiple events on the college campus like the weekly TED talks, monthly food trucks and voter registration events.


We donated, have you? #blooddonation #savealife #every8weeks #hoagblooddonorservices

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Martine Wehr, the director of the Foster & Kinship Care Education program and a mentor faculty member in the health sciences and human services division coordinated “The Journey of the Ultimate Gift,” a panel presentation that was held on Monday, March 5 as part of the blood and bone marrow drive. The demonstration addressed information about organ procurement in the state of California from multiple experts on the topic. Joe Salcido, a current Saddleback College faculty member, was included in the panel due to his position on a kidney transplant list.

“One of the main goals behind this semester’s blood and bone marrow drive was to raise awareness for the organ donor registry,” said Martine Wehr. “The panel had multiple experts that explained what happens before and after an organ donation and answer questions for students and faculty about organ and tissue donation.”

The nursing programs’s students were scheduled to volunteer on Wednesday, March 7 to assist the blood drive. The Be A Hero Become A Donor foundation, a San Clemente-based operation, specializes in education and donation opportunities for bone marrow, blood, organ, tissues and cord blood donation. BAHBAD has recruited 27,150 bone marrow donors throughout its registry.


One Legacy is the largest non-profit organization that handles organ, eye and tissue donation in the greater Los Angeles area. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing, in 2018 19,850 kidney transplants were facilitated through organ donation. Individuals registered as organ donors in California are able to contribute lungs, heart, liver, pancreas, kidneys, intestines, corneas, heart valves, veins, skins, bone or connective tissues after death if they meet the criteria for donation; the Donate Life California Registry estimates that one tissue donor can provide for at least 75 people.

“I always thought that I would not be able to donate or become a donor because of my tattoos,” said Denae Vaughn, a Saddleback student majoring in accounting. “I was informed that as long as your tattoo was done in a California state regulated tattoo shop, you do not have to wait and can donate the next day after getting your tattoo.”

The Hoag Blood Donor Service and multiple of their blood collection specialists had the responsibility for filling out registration paperwork, conducting medical screenings and collecting blood throughout the event. Donors that participated had to be at least 16 years old and have valid photo identification.

“The blood donations that the Hoag Blood Donor Service acquires are redistributed back into the community,” said Sue Forster, an account marketing manager for Hoag. “Essentially, Hoag takes from the community and gives it right back as well.”

Hoag facilitated the blood drive for participants through the use of both walk-in and online appointments. Hoag estimated that the entire donation process takes around an hour due to protocol. Participants were required to stay at least 15 minutes for observation after the procedure.