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REMS hosts blood drive in honor of Kamryn Sanamo

Photo courtesy Gustavo Raskosky

By Meghan Paral     4/4/23 11:42pm

Rice Emergency Medical Services will host a blood drive on April 7 in memory of Kamryn Sanamo, a Martel College senior who passed away in January after battling brain cancer. The drive, open to members of the Rice community, will take place from noon to 6 pm in Lot 6.

According to REMS Community Relations Lieutenant Jay Mehta, they intentionally planned the date of the drive more than eight weeks after the last on-campus blood drive, ensuring that those who donated blood at the previous event are eligible to donate once again. 

“We worked with Gulf Coast [Regional Blood Center] to make sure that if you donated at our blood drive earlier in the year that enough time had passed,” Mehta, a Brown College senior, said. “People shouldn’t be worried that they’re ineligible to donate if they donated [in January].”

Senior Associate Athletic Director Tanner Gardner said that instead of the blood drive being hosted inside the PCF tents, mobile coaches will be provided by Gulf Coast as a donation site. The Athletics Department is hosting the blood drive in coordination with Rice Athletics.

“[Gulf Coast] is going to have at least two mobile coaches, and they’re going to be set up in the parking lot behind Tudor Fieldhouse,” Gardner said.

According to Gardner, Athletics has been promoting the drive through video board advertisements and signage at the recent baseball games. Additionally, anyone who donates blood will receive a free ticket to an upcoming Rice baseball game.

“[Providing a free ticket] is something that’s been really effective. It’s helped drive attendance at the blood drive, and then maybe at the baseball game depending on the individual,” Gardner said. “The only challenge we’ve had is that we’ve had so much demand that we needed to add more mobile units.”

Mehta said that while the number of donors is important for REMS, it is not the sole determinant of success of the blood drive.

“It’s less about the number of units of blood we collect. Obviously, the number does matter … but I think that people’s willingness to take time out of their day for someone who was important in our community is important,” Mehta said. “It speaks to the character of the people on this campus, and it shows that, in this community, we support each other.”

Gardner also said that the measurement of the drive’s success goes beyond the quantitative.

“I just think that [it’s great] when we can honor [Kamryn’s legacy] through activities such as this … and provide for such an acute need,” Gardner said.

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