By Timothy Jensen
For some students, getting a job on campus or working nights at Macaroni Grill is a good way to earn extra cash, but for other students, donating their plasma is the better way.
“I literally applied to 15 places on BYU”s campus and nothing worked out,” said Adam Brewer, a UVSC student. “It [plasma donation] is pretty much the only option for money.”
Brewer said he has not donated his plasma yet, but he is scheduled to do so this Saturday. He plans to use his earnings towards rent and tuition. He said he will donate as much plasma as the donation center allows him to. And, he will continue to return until he finds a different job.
“It”s a pride issue,” Brewer said. “You do not have to ask your parents for money. That would be like admitting defeat.”
The nearest plasma donation center for students is Alpha Therapeutic Corporation in Provo. Many students are veteran donors.
“For three weeks in the summer I went twice a week, said Jeff Nef, sophomore, from Fresno, Calif., majoring in business. “I got $160 for eight times per month.”
Nef suggested students who are interested to plan on taking an hour-and-a-half to complete whole procedure.
“It”s great. You get paid to watch movies,” he said.
According to LifeSource Blood Services” Web site, plasma donation is a type of blood donation. Instead of giving whole blood, you donate only a portion of your blood-plasma.
Donating plasma could help save the life of a patient in need, especially if one”s blood type is AB. AB blood is the universal plasma donor. Patients of any blood type can be transfused with AB blood. Those that have AB blood account for only three to four percent of the population.
During a plasma donation, whole blood is removed from one arm and placed in a cell-separating machine. The machine spins the blood so that only plasma is removed and saved. All of the other blood components; red blood cells and platelets are returned to the donor”s body through the same line.
Plasma donation is safe. The elements used for the procedure are used for only one donor and then eradicated. One cannot get AIDS or other lethal blood diseases.
Students can attain what is called, gold-member status, if they donate eight times for the first month and at least six times every month after.
The average donor receives about $20 a donation, averaging $13 an hour. It is difficult to find an on-campus job paying that well.
However, if one”s blood is special they can make more. Kris Klegg, a BYU student, noted that one kid he knew made $100 a trip because his blood had a higher number of antibodies.
“If you”re a chronic plasma donator, you start to get tread marks like a heroin addict,” Klegg said.
Nef said he also has the infamous mark on his harm, but he likes to reflect on the lives he”s saved.