Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 15 No. 3 | December 2022

14 Inside Hokie Sports A CHANGE IN PERSPECTIVE Ashley Owusu Women’s Basketball 11/4/2022 8:00:00 AM People often ask me what’s my passion for speaking up about the American Red Cross and the importance of donating blood. I mean, if I’m being completely honest, I never donated blood or even thought about donating until it literally saved my life. It was back in March, two weeks after we came back from the NCAA Tournament in Spokane. I’d been feeling kind of sick and was sleeping a lot. But like most things, you just brush that kind of stuff off and keep on going, right? That’s what I did, and it ended up being a big mistake. Once I got back home, I found out I had mono. But it had gone undetected for so many months that my body was starting to shut down, and I needed blood transfusions. My first stay in the hospital lasted four days, from March 30 to April 2 and included five total transfusions. My second stay came a week later, from April 9 to the 10th and I underwent three transfusions during that time. When you’re super young, there are times when you start to think you’re invincible, you know? That nothing will ever happen to you. I made that mistake once already, and I don’t ever plan on making it again. MY OWN MIRACLE If it happened to me, it could definitely happen to anyone. Most people don’t even realize there’s an actual shortage of blood right now. So, I think the fact that I was able to get as much as I did when I needed it was huge. I don’t even want to think about what would have happened to me if I didn’t get those transfusions. Giving blood is a lot more important than people think because it can literally save lives. If even one life can be saved, I’d think that qualifies as something that needs to be talked about a lot more. Don’t you think? I know now from that incident to never take anything for granted. Never be afraid to ask for help, and at the same time, you should always be willing to give it. I’ve carried those life lessons with me from Maryland to Virginia Tech. I’m just fortunate to be alive, healthy, and playing basketball at a place that has shown me all kinds of love since I arrived. I intend on repaying it by being the best version of myself both on and off the court. THE SENIOR TRANSFER I’m just looking forward to playing now, you know? It’s a new environment, new team, new conference, new everything—and I’m just super, super excited to finally get out there with my teammates and just compete. Continued from page 13 Change in A