Orediggers bleed for the community

For Leif Knatterud, this was nothing new.

The Montana Tech senior tight-end knew he had to change up his schedule a bit if he was going take part in an Oredigger blood drive with the United Blood Service Wednesday on the Montana Tech campus.

The post-donation instructions say to avoid heavy lifting the day after giving blood. That can be a hindrance for a 6-foot-3, 230-pound player looking to get even stronger for the 2013 season.

“I made sure I lifted this morning,” Knatterud said as blood drained from his right arm. “You’ve got to lift in the morning before you give blood.”

Knatterud, who is a Belgrade native, chose the longer form of donating blood. He went through a process where a donor gives twice as many red blood cells. An official with the United Blood Services said that is beneficial to the recipient because it means there is less of a chance for a rejection during a transfusion.

Knatterud gave blood for the third time — all as part of the yearly Oredigger blood drive. He said it’s comforting to know that his blood will likely go to help somebody in our community. The United Blood Service is the primary blood provider for St. James Healthcare.

Knatterud was one of 29 donors during Wednesday’s drive. He said it was part of a handful of charitable acts the Oredigger athletes participate in throughout the spring. Recently, a handful of football players worked to help get the Sunshine Camp ready for the summer.

“We can sign up for several charities during the spring,” Knatterud said. “This is a good way to get a lot of people donating.”

To set up an appointment to donate at the United Blood Services in Butte, call 723-3264.