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MIAMI COMPLETES TUMULTUOUS FALL WITH ‘CRISIS WARRIOR’ BLOOD DRIVE

November 20, 2020

OXFORD, Ohio - Miami University seniors Samantha and Alexandria Stambaugh are twin sisters who spend a lot of time together. They study together, they caught COVID-19 together, and on Nov. 19 in the Armstrong Student Center "Crisis Warrior Blood Drive" they donated COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma together.

The Stambaugh sisters were among the 80 students and staff members who came to donate at the fourth and final Community Blood Center blood drive of a tumultuous fall semester.

Despite a COVID-19 outbreak and the interruption of in-person classes, Miami's fall blood drives totaled 489 donors, including 349 donations and 257 first-time donors for 114% of collection goal.

Thursday also marked the first CBC "Crisis Warrior" COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma drive at Miami.  The twin Stambaugh sisters were among 11 students, recovered from COVID-19, who donated convalescent plasma for the treatment of critically ill coronavirus patients.  Thirty-one made whole blood donations and 25 students were first-time donors.

Samantha is a business major from Defiance, Ohio. She said she was exposed to COVID-19 at the end of August. "School was still online but I was here in my apartment," she said. "I don't know where I got it, but I gave it to my sister. She gave plasma too."

"It was marginal," Samantha said about her illness. "I lost my sense of taste and smell. That was probably the weirdest part."  She said her sister learned about the "Crisis Warrior" blood drive and sent her a link to sign-up.

"I feel there are a lot of people who need the antibodies," she said. "I have a high number of antibodies, so I wanted to come back.  I'm just doing my part."

Christian Carrier is a senior pre-med student from Naperville, Illinois who donated convalescent plasma for his first lifetime donation. He learned about the "Crisis Warrior" blood drive from his pre-med advisory group.

"I had it the end of August," he said. "I had symptoms for four days. It wasn't terrible. Luckily, I didn't lose my taste or smell. I had fever, a sore throat and body aches. I always wanted to donate but never did. Even if I wasn't pre-med, I would still want to do it. It's my way I can help."

Freshman Joe Morgan was quarantined for exposure to someone with the coronavirus but tested negative. He donated whole blood Thursday in what he felt was a positive way to end his first semester on a college campus.

"We're not coming back," he said about Miami's revised holiday break. "We have finals online after Thanksgiving break, and then we're on Christmas break until late January."

Joshua Prieto made his first convalescent plasma donation. He'll spend Thanksgiving in Oxford as an extra precaution before returning home to Evanston, Illinois. He learned about the "Crisis Warrior" blood drive from his fraternity brothers at Alpha Epsilon Pi.

"One of my brothers stressed the importance of it, since I already had the antibodies," said Joshua. "I saw the opportunity and it's 'Why not?'"

The Greeks made Miami the birthplace of CBC college blood drives with the first Greek Week Blood Drive in 1978. Up until the pandemic, it was CBC's largest blood drive. Miami remains CBC's longest-standing blood drive partner and is now one CBC's newest "Crisis Warrior" partners in the fight against COVID-19.

"I look at our fall 2020 blood drive totals," said Sandy Baur, CBC's account representative for Miami, "and I say, 'Not bad for being in a pandemic.'"