Bleeders and Best


Lauren Reid

There are several reasons why I love November. My birthday for one, but also Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season. One thing that should be a cause for excitement in November is the Ohio State game. But in my three years at Michigan, there has yet to be a “W” behind Michigan’s name for that game of the biggest rivalry in college football.

So although the football team may not earn the win, there’s another battle between the schools that goes on every November that we have won in my time at Michigan. And it’s one I can participate in.

Every November, UM and Ohio State engage in a Blood Battle. This event runs from the beginning of November until the Michigan/Ohio State football game and is a competition to see which school can donate more pints of blood through Red Cross Blood Drives all across campus.

Because of Ohio State larger student body, you might think think they’d be the decisive winner every year, but the numbers tend to be extremely close.  In 2008, we lost by THREE pints.

Each year I’ve done my part by wearing my blood battle t-shirt (with slogans like “those who bleed will be champions” and “the bleeders and best”), helping out at the drives, and of course, donating blood.

Although we’ve all heard the convincing reasons why it’s important to donate regularly (e.g., a pint of blood saves three lives, and shortages are highest in the winter/holiday months), we often end up making excuses relating to time or discomfort.  However, in working at Mott Children’s Hospital, I’ve met several reasons why those blood donations are so important.

This is the 28th year of the blood battle, which will run from November 5 until November 20, and I’ll be faithfully doing my part to bring Michigan those much-needed victories over Ohio State.  There are blood drives going on all over campus.  It’s an incredible event with an incredible benefit.  Plus, it’s a way to show that I truly bleed maize and blue.

4 thoughts on “Bleeders and Best

  1. I give blood to the Red Cross whenever I am eligible. They call me to remind me that I have the opportunity to help. This year, it worked out well for both UM and the Red Cross, enough time had pasted so I could give blood again, and I could donate to the Blood Battle. I hope everyone, all of my colleagues and students in my classes give blood if they can. It is good for Michigan because of our Ohio State Battle, but it is good for those who need and require our contribution to survive. Give Blood, Go Blue, and beat Ohio State.

  2. You also made it to the umich home page! (which is where I saw this) I thought the “Bleeders and the Best” shirts were awesome. My only regret with Blood Battle is the incredibly long waits – this year I had an appointment for 4:00, but wasn’t out of there until 5:30 (wasn’t even on a table until 5ish). One year I made an appointment for the first time slot – and when I arrived, they hadn’t even finished setting up the room. I wish I knew the secret to finding the prompt and efficient blood draw locations!

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