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Future doctors assist in blood drive

Molly Shore

The sight of blood doesn’t make Ashlei Limbaga queasy. The

16-year-old Providence High School junior was a blood donor Tuesday

at the school’s semi-annual American Red Cross blood drive.

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“It’s something I’ve never done before,” the Burbank girl said.

“When they explained to us that there’s a shortage, I was interested

in giving blood. It’s not hurting me, but it might save the life of

someone else.”

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Providence Principal Sister Lucille Dean was happy to see

students, as well as community members, donate blood.

“I always believe that if we get the students to start when

they’re young, they’ll continue as adults,” she said.

Nurses from Providence St. Joseph Medical Center who worked at

the blood drive were assisted by Providence students in the school’s

Health Careers Focus program.

Christopher Ghazarian, 15, handed out forms at the blood drive,

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and said he provided comic relief for people who were uneasy about

giving blood.

“More than half the people haven’t given blood before, so we want

to make them feel more comfortable,” he said.

Christopher hopes to follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and

become a pharmacist. But if that plan doesn’t materialize, he said,

dentistry is another option.

Physician Arjan Harjani, the director of the Health Careers Focus

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Program, said that many of the students in the program have

aspirations of going into medicine. However, he added the many years

of study and the expense often drive them out of this field.

But Harjani, who keeps a database of former students, said, “About

25% of [former] students are in the process of returning to the

profession.”

The program at Providence was started in 1989 with two students,

he said. Today it has an enrollment of 90.

“We’ve come a long way,” Harjani said.


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