Drawing out a legacy

Senior Skyla Ramsay shares her experiences donating blood.


Caleb Gill

Students can sign up to donate for the Jan. 12 blood drive by emailing blood drive coordinator Lance Culbert with their name, age and three periods they could donate. Contrary to previous drives, students ages 16 and 17 will need a signed permission form.

A TV murmurs quietly in the background of Coffee Memorial Blood Center, captions flashing across the screen as the sun shines in through floor-to-ceiling windows and a fountain bubbles outside. A cat brushes past the glass and the green scenery stands starkly potent against the white interior as padded chairs standing next to beeping machines lean back slowly. 

Senior Skyla Ramsay began giving blood her sophomore year of high school. Since then, she has continued to donate at school and at Coffee Memorial Blood Center in Amarillo whenever possible.

This information was gathered from the Vein Drain blood drive on Oct. 28, 2021. 

“You get recurring emails, like ‘your blood saved three lives’, Ramsay said. “I did the math the other day, and I’ve saved 33 lives. I want to be that person; I want to be able to affect people’s lives.”

Blood drive coordinator Lance Culbert said students are perfect to donate because they usually do not have as many health problems as older donors. 

“Honor cords are given to student donors that donate six times over their high school career,” Culbert said. “Every time we have one here, Skyla donates. She just keeps coming back.”

Ramsay said students are often scared to donate, but the rewards for donating often outweigh the fear.

“Skyla came in, I think last year, and was super scared to donate,” chemistry teacher JaCee Copeland said. “I told her it was going to be fine even though I am super scared to donate as well. I ended up holding her hand.”

In addition to donating blood, Ramsay donates platelets as well, a process by which blood is filtered and the non-platelet portions are returned to the donor.

I told her it was going to be fine even though I am super scared to donate as well. I ended up holding her hand.”

— Chemistry teacher JaCee Copeland

“The best part is when they pull the needle out and you feel like ‘I did that, I impacted someone,’” Ramsay said. “Whenever I’m there, it’s not the thought of the needle, or the pain or bruises that can happen, it’s the thought of donating and saving someone’s life.”

Ramsay said that she likes to dress casually whenever she donates, and likes learning about the lives and stories of the people who work there.

“I like to dress how I normally dress,” Ramsay said. “You have to be comfortable, because if you’re not comfortable and you’re dressed up and there for an hour, you’re going to get uncomfortable.”

After leaving her legacy of helping others at Canyon, Ramsay plans to go into Deaf education and is planning a trip to Uganda to help a Deaf school there.

“I like to save lives,” Ramsay said. “I like to be the person that makes a difference, and that’s kind of what I want to do after high school as well. It is a whole different experience. You can save a life, you can find a love and passion for it and keep pushing yourself.”