The North Texan, Volume 37, Number 4, Winter 1987 Page: 14
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INVASION of the VAMPIRE
By Charlotte Menger Guest
For the suffering, a blood transfusion is an affirmation
of caring by one human being for another. A donor cannot
sell blood, which can't be manufactured and has no
substitute. It is always a gift.
To Dr. J.B. Spalding, director of the campus blood
drive, the happy atmosphere of people volunteering to
help others is part of the reward for his own work.
"For many years, I was just a donor," Dr. Spalding
said this fall. "I don't have a story to tell-I just started
donating blood, and it got to be a regular thing. I began
to realize what an impact blood donations make on the
lives of people I would never know, but who would live
because of it. I believe in it. I give about four times a
NT has two blood drives a year to cover the emergency
blood needs of all students, faculty, staff and their
immediate families. Last spring's blood drive netted 1,511
pints, and Dr. Spalding thinks he's found the secret
lure--T-shirts. All donors got one, in addition to the
obligatory post-donation glass of orange juice and crackers.
The fall blood drive was conducted after The North
Texan deadline, but Dr. Spalding was anticipating another
good turnout. Theme for the fall drive was "The Greatest
Gift of All," with T-shirts again awarded to those giving
Dr. Spalding received an award from Wadley Blood
Center in 1986 as "Blood Drive Coordinator of the
Year." This year, NT's donor membershp was honored
for "most improved." Dr. Spalding currently is serving
a three-year term on Wadley's Blood Donor Council,
which meets quarterly.
He talked his daughter into donating this past summer
when she reached 17, the legal age to begin donating.
"She's a person who doesn't even like to be in the
same room with a needle, but she came out saying,
'You're right. It doesn't hurt much at all'," said Dr.
Spalding, an assistant dean who teaches statistical analysis
in the College of Business Administratibn. Immediately
before and during blood drives, he dresses as a vampire
and dons the flamboyant personality of "The Count"
(not Transylvania, but Sesame Street).
Photos by Ronda Corley
Apparently comfortable in his attire, he is seen on
errands about campus and is not above touring classrooms
on behalf of his project.
In addition to the NT community, recipients of blood
include the Texas chapter of the National Hemophilia
Foundation and the NT chapter of the Leukemia Society.
Dr. Spalding is eager to spread a little laughter on
behalf of a serious mission.
"If you need blood, there's nothing else that will take
its place," he said. "I don't know all the cases that
benefited from NT's donations. I do know we had a
student burned in an auto accident this summer. He used
10 pints of blood in July, and then, when they began
doing skin grafts, another 80 pints in August. We have
some patients who come in every month for three pints."
If 1,500 pints in one blood drive sounds like a lot,
Dr. Spalding isn't satisfied.
"Not with 22,000 students," he said. 'That's only
6 or 7 percent."
Faculty and staff can be doubly grateful to the r ~nts
who donate, he said, since their own particip is
lower-about 2 or 3 percent.
"Those that give their blood help take care of all of
us," Dr. Spalding said. "Some of my most loyal donors
on staff are groundskeepers and custodians. You get to
know the longtime donors. If the publicity on the next
drive doesn't go out soon enough, they'll come around
and ask me, 'When is the blood drive?' They are ready
to give again."
Because of hectic holiday plans and illnesses around
Christmas, blood banks generally are low on supplies in
December, Dr. Spalding said.
"Remind your readers to stop off at their local blood
bank and donate-if not before the holidays, then right
after Christmas," he said. "And by the way-for those
people who gave at the NT blood drive in October-it's
okay to give again during Christmas break. It's been
For those having trouble finding "Christmas spirit,"
a blood donation might be a boost, he said.
"It literally is a gift of life from one person to another.
Can you think of anything more in the Christmas spirit
The North Texan
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North Texas State University. The North Texan, Volume 37, Number 4, Winter 1987, periodical, Winter 1987; Denton, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc119040/m1/14/: accessed June 10, 2023), University of North Texas Libraries, UNT Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting University Relations, Communications & Marketing department for UNT.