Cary, NC – A friend, even a close one, could be dealing with a disease in their private lives you do not notice. One Cary Girl Scout worked on a project framed around these invisible diseases, earning her the Girl Scouts’ top award in the process.
Girl Scout-Led Blood Drive
Sanjana Vadlamudi is a rising senior at Green Hope High School, is in Girl Scout Troop 766 and has been interested in medicine and healthcare for many years.
“I volunteered at Duke Hospital when I was a freshman and sophomore. While I was there, I saw the need for blood donations.”
Out of this, Vadlamudi created her project, “Helping People with Invisible Diseases One Blood Drop at a Time,” and hosted her own blood drive, getting 28 pints of blood donated to patients who need it. This project earned Vadlamudi the Girl Scouts Gold Award, which only around 5 percent of Girl Scouts nationwide receive each year.
“The Girl Scout Gold Award shows that one girl, one voice, and one project can have a powerful and lasting impact on the world,” said Lisa Jones, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts – North Carolina Coastal Pines.
To create the project, Vadlamudi started by focusing on the local area and reaching out to experts in blood drives.
“After I decided to focus on the medical field for my project, I talked to the American Red Cross about setting up a blood drive,” Vadlamudi said. “I started by telling friends and family about the drive and spread fliers around. I made this a local effort.”
While Vadlamudi got to see the need for blood donations in her time at Duke Hospital, there was also a personal connection for her.
“I was talking with people from my Troop and I had a friend with a disease that needed blood transfusions,” she said. “I thought it was a great way to do my project because it would not only get blood donated but it would raise awareness of these diseases.”
Vadlamudi said she is now more intent on looking at medicine as a career field in the future, with a possible focus on public health.
“This project has made me realize that this is something I really am interested in,” she said.
Story by Michael Papich. Photos courtesy of Sanjana Vadlamudi.