College Student Funds Shopping Addiction With Frequent Blood Plasma Donations
USColin Fredericson

A college student has said she donates blood plasma twice a week in order to support her shopping addiction.

Carisa Barker takes in $280 a month for donating blood plasma, with the 20-year-old making $3,360 for plasma she donated over a year.

“I would absolutely recommend it to people who are short of cash and want to go shopping,” Barker told SWNS.

Barker lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, and is a self-confessed shopaholic.

“I get $20 the first time and $50 the next time,” Barker told SWNS. “It’s just a little bit of extra money that I can spend that I don’t feel I worked very hard for.”

Barker studies communications at college, SWNS reported. She goes to the mall about three times a week to shop. She said she spends about $600 a month on clothes, shoes, and beauty products.

Barker leaves no mystery about what she likes doing with her free time or where her money goes.

“On each shopping trip I only spend about $50 but that adds up to $150 a week. If I see something that I like or there’s a discount or a good deal, I’ll just buy it,” she told SWNS. “I feel powerful knowing that I have the money and I can buy stuff.”

She learned about donating plasma from a friend last summer. Although you cannot get paid for donating blood, payments are offered for plasma.

“One of my friends does it and she took me with her one time. I just kept doing it,” Barker told SWNS. “I do it as often as I can, which is usually twice a week. It takes about an hour-and-a-half each time I go.”

She has the donations done at BioLife Plasma Services in Layton, Utah, SWNS reported. The process entails removing blood, then a process to separate the plasma from the blood, and then what remains of the blood goes back into the body while the plasma is collected.

“I go in and complete a survey to make sure I am feeling well that day, that I have no tattoos or piercings. They screen you and take your blood pressure and temperature. It takes them a while to pump the blood out and put it through the machine,” Barker told SWNS.

Even though it seems like a lot of work to have a little extra money for clothes, Barker sees some other benefits.

“There are no health risks that I know of and my parents are fine with me doing it. My plasma is used to make medicines for people with rare diseases,” Barker told SWNS. “It makes me feel good to know that I’m helping people. I plan to keep donating.”

A representative for BioLife told SWNS about other things donated blood plasma can be used for: “Plasma collected from healthy donors is processed into a wide variety of therapies that benefit thousands of people every day with rare, often life-threatening diseases such as immunodeficiency disorders, hemophilia and hereditary angioedema (HAE).”

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Driving 8 hours on a bus each way into the desert was totally worth it! #morocco #saharadesert #camelrides #deserttour #travel

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Barker has a YouTube channel where she posts video blogs of herself. She posted the channel’s first video six months ago. Topics include travel, food, health, fashion, beauty, pets, and other lifestyle topics.

Despite her other interests, it seems Barker’s first love is still shopping.

“My friends have told me to stop shopping but I can’t. I live at home and all of my money goes on shopping,” Barker told SWNS. “I would save a lot of money if I stopped but as long as I have money that I can spend, I’m going to keep doing it.

She did share the one condition which would help her curb the shopping habit.

“If I was ever at a point where I didn’t have money, I would stop. Shopping is my biggest expenditure but I also spend a lot on travel.”