University alum Charis Mitchell donated blood for the first time during the 2004 Blood Battle, the blood drive competition between Michigan and Ohio State that takes place before the hated rivals’
annual football game.

(Zachary Meisner/Daily)

Inspired by the competition, Mitchell made a habit of regularly donating blood.

“Once I had done it the first time, I just decided that I wanted to continue to donate every year when I was a student,” Mitchell said. “I thought it was a fun way to contribute and do something good.”

Mitchell said a 6-year-old girl is now in remission from an auto-immune disease, thanks to Mitchell’s donation of peripheral blood cells and plasma.

“It’s cool to think that I was created and 22 years later, the way I was put together had the potential to save a life,” Mitchell said.

The contest, which ends tomorrow, has historically been close. Last year, the University of Michigan lost by just three pints. During the drive’s 26 years, each school has won the competition 13 times.

The University hasn’t won since 2002.

LSA sophomore Mary Rock, a co-chair of this year’s Blood Battle, said she thinks that because Ohio State is a larger school the competition is slightly unfair, but Rock was optimistic about Michigan’s chances this year.

“Right now, pint-wise, things are really close, but I think we could definitely win this year,” Rock said. “It was just three pints last year, and I think the student body is motivated with big drives. We can do it.”

According to figures provided by Rock last night, Ohio State currently leads Michigan by 11 pints, 1623-1612.

To donate, students can either schedule an appointment at www.givelife.org and enter the sponsor code of “goblue” or walk in to one of the drives.

At the larger locations there are 25 nurses, so “walk-ins are definitely welcome,” Rock said.

There have been drives all over campus since the Blood Battle began Nov. 4. One drive takes place today at the Michigan Union Ballroom from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and three take place Friday — one at the School of Dentistry from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the other two at East Quad Residence Hall cafeteria and the Michigan Union Pendleton Room from 2 to 8 p.m.

To encourage students to donate, organizers are also offering incentives including a raffle of two tickets to the Ohio State football game on Saturday and footballs signed by members of Michigan’s football team.

Mitchell, who donated blood last night for the Blood Battle, said she feels Michigan may have a chance at winning the competition, but that it all depends on this final week.

“I know it’s always close,” Mitchell said. “So I’m really hoping that this week is strong week for Michigan.”

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