Even with the economy in shambles, there is a place in Tyler and many other college towns practically passing out money, in exchange for life saving materials that healthy bodies make daily.
Although 90 percent of the life saving substance is water, it also contains dissolved salts and minerals like calcium, sodium, magnesium and potassium that transport microbe-fighting antibodies to diseases that might be in the body, according to The Franklin Institute.
The BioLife Plasma Center in Tyler sees a lot of college students.
“About 30 percent of our donors are college students,” Shane Larson, manager of the Tyler facility said. “Their donations have a definite impact on the success of our center.”
The Tyler facility is one of the top 10 centers in the BioLife company, out of 63 across the nation.
“The money I got helped with gas and extra things,” Erin Durham, TJC student, said.
Donors can make up to $55 in a week, which adds up to almost three thousand dollars a year.
“Many students use the money they receive for books, tuition and groceries. But some are using the money to pay for their spring break trips or to make car payments,” Larson said.
Not all of the people who donate do so just because of the money.
“I give because it helps other people, and it’s a good feeling knowing that you’re helping other people,” TJC student Jesse Mitchell said. “But being able to get the money was nice too.”
The center is more than just a doctor’s office for a lot of the regulars, with the waiting room full of bold colors that made potential donors feel welcomed.
“It is a social place too. You can definitely tell when the college students are here. It gets louder but that’s alright. We want you to be comfortable here,” Larson said.
“I knew some of the people there before I went, but everyone talks to you,” Mitchell said.
On the first visit a patient can expect to be there for about two hours with all the screening and the actual but after the first visit, patients are usually out in less than an hour.
“It was really nice to be able to go on my time, and they had extended hours. I didn’t have to worry about missing class,” Durham s said aid.
Plasma is used in many life-saving medicines according to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association.
Every year 22 million liters of plasma are used in these medicines and from these 22 million liters, more than 1 million people worldwide receive plasma therapeutics every year and is still a growing number.