Thursday, May 15, 2008

"Motorists Selling Blood For Gas"

Nope. I'm not buying this story from KSAT-12:

SAN ANTONIO -- As gas prices continue to soar, San Antonians continue to look for affordable ways to afford to keep their cars on the road. Some have found a temporary solution to get some quick cash and fill up their tanks.

Eighteen-year-old Jessica Busby is just one of a growing number of people that are donating some of their blood’s plasma for gas money.

Busby said she was “totally strapped for cash” and needed to find a way to keep her gas tank full.

...

Twice a week, Busby rides her bicycle to the Biomat USA Plasma Center just north of downtown San Antonio. She gets paid $40 for each donation. Busby said it was the only solution she could think of to keep her car on the road.

Busby said she goes through “a never-ending vicious cycle of donating, and donating and donating.”

Busby said she will continue going to the plasma center “until I get a better job.”


This sounds like a manufactured story to me. I think "eighteen-year-old Jessica Busby" might have donated plasma once or twice for money, but I really doubt she's caught in a "never-ending vicious cycle of donating, and donating and donating." Besides, she obviously has a bicycle. Why doesn't she just use that to get around and save on some gas money?

And, one interview with a plasma donor does not a "growing number of people" make.

15 comments:

AlanDP said...

The tone of this article is suspicious to me, and a little offensive. There is nothing "vicious" about donating plasma. I did it regularly for several years during the 90s for extra cash.

Also, the quote about $40 per visit doesn't ring right. You can donate twice in a one-week period. Where I went, we got paid less on the first weekly visit and more on the second. That was there was an incentive to come back. We were paid $15 for the first visit and $30 for the second.

Plasma donation is something that is looked down on by the media and many other people, but it's a way to make money and help other people at the same time. Back then, I was on the tetanus supersaturation program, which not everyone is eligible for. This means I was given a tetanus shot once every three months and my plasma was used to create tetanus vaccines. Every time I received a shot, I got an extra $5.

Another part that sounds fishy is that if she is bicycling to the plasma center, she obviously lives in the city. What is she doing that she needs $320 a month just for gas? That sounds more like my gas budget, and I live 40 miles out of town.

AlanDP said...

Okay, just got time to look up the plasma center mentioned. That's the same one I used to go to, but the name has changed.

I think that there is very little truth in this article.

Kels said...

Well, we've come to have a LOVE-HATE relationship with our media here in town, haven't we??? ;) I agree with alandp on several counts... especially that donating plasma isn't anything new... I had a handful of friends in college that would do this for extra cash... but if you were doing this to get extra fuel money... well, unless you were biking there (as the example given has been)... the money you would make would hardly pay for your gas to and from the center 2 times in a week if you lived across town from the center! This article shouldn't have even been written... the facts are unfounded and this is ridiculous!

Jessica Busby said...

This is Jessica Busby. I have donated at biomat usa over twenty times. they paid me 45 for my first because i was a referral then 35 each donation after that. I also have had a recent tetanus shot. The plasma center recognized that i produce tetanus antibodies and now pay me an extra 5$ per donation. There is nothing wrong with donating plasma. I am not only making extra income, I am saving lives. I know how important my donations are and am not ashamed a bit. I get 80 dollars per week, that is if i go twice a week. I am a model and singer and fulltime student. You could say I am a starving artist. Not only do i put gasoline in my car i also buy food (fuel for my body) etc. that money does not go a long way.
I travel for modeling gigs. I go all over san antonio and to austin. Some trips need half a tank of gas or are to far to ride on my bicycle. I respect all of your opinions but the story is true. My family and I are from Baton Rouge among other places. While there my mom donated her car and bought a bicycle with the repair money. She and our family have been protesting gas prices ever since.

Jessica Busby said...

oh ps.when i said "vicious cycle of donating and donating and donating" I was referring to the donation of my plasma money to the gas companies and it IS vicious.

Albatross said...

They used your plasma to make tetanus vaccines? That's cool, Alan! All I do is donate whole blood.

Albatross said...

Jessica, I commend your dedication to donating plasma (selling, actually), but I still challenge the whole premise of the story, which is that this is a trend. You may be donating plasma for gas money, but, as I said, "one interview with a plasma donor does not a 'growing number of people' make".

In other words, KSAT has taken your story and tried to make more of it by suggesting that there are a lot of other people doing the same thing. I seriously doubt that. That's what I meant by a "manufactured" story.

Jessica Busby said...

Yet you should see how many cars are in the parking lot every day. As I wait to get paid for selling my plasma I sit and chat with others on where our money will go and the answer is almost always, "in the gas tank."

Albatross said...

Jessica, if that's true, then you've just done a better job of reporting than KSAT.

The Mom said...

I think you miss the point. The headline is about donating plasma, but the real story is about what our greed for oil has done to us. Jessica is a cyclist because it is a convenience on campus and downtown. She is one of a growing group of Americans who is not too lazy to get off their ga$ and ride a bike for the short trips. She and her family have ridden their bicycles over a combined 10,000 miles because of the effects of the rising cost of gasoline.

If you watch the story carefully, you will see her face light up when she talks about driving her car, “air-conditioning” she says longingly. This is because when she was almost old enough to get her driver’s license her mother announced she was donating the family car, a fabulous gas-sucking oil-burning hotrod convertible Firebird, to the Kidney foundation, and the family would all ride bicycles. This began on July 4, 2005 in Baton Rouge Louisiana, continued through two hurricanes and all of the crisis, and the reconstruction. Upon moving back home to San Antonio the family’s boycott ended, for a short while. Within 6 months the family returned to strictly cycling and public transportation.

As Jessica and her older brother graduated and began working they wanted cars. Consequently, the also got what everyone else who drives is also getting. Sucked dry.

Mom and little brother are still on bikes, commuting daily to work and school, groceries, shopping, outings, etc, and admit to copping an occasional ride. Refusing to participate in a oil-driven economy is very liberating. Strange, but true. You ought to try it.

jessica busby said...

your right albatross

Anonymous said...

This kid is my niece. She actually sells her plasma for gas money- no joke. I keep telling her to get a job, but she doesn't really want to... I've thought about joining her but I'm afraid of needles!

Wiley said...

I lived in Baton Rouge and spent time with the Busby family. The car she is refering to was donated and mother Busby did ride a bike to work. In fact this bike was stolen and then replaced by a gentleman who saw a news segment about the crime.I have donated myself.Jess may be refering the vicious cycle to the fatigue after donation and hydrating yourself before the process.

Semen Rendi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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