Selling your body for cash - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Selling your body for cash

STEVENS POINT (WAOW) -- The tough economy has forced many people to find creative ways to make it financially.

Some are turning to themselves, finding ways to sell their bodies. But they say it brings more rewards than just financial.

Aaron Maass is a junior at UW Stevens Point. We found him on his way to class one morning just after he finished donating plasma.

"I've been donating plasma since January of last year," said Maass. "I do it twice a week, regularly."

Plasma is a part of blood. Companies like Bio Life Plasma Services in Stevens Point use it to produce medicine. And donors get paid.

"It's twenty dollars your first time, and thirty dollars your second time in the same week," said Maass.

And it makes a difference. Money is what Aaron says first convinced him to start donating plasma.

"It pretty much just pays for gas at this point to go home and back to school," said Maass. "But it still leaves enough extra to maybe go out to eat once a week with my friends or start paying off my loans."

Doug Anderson is the center's director. He says Bio Life is located in Stevens Point largely because there are so many students.

"You can earn fifty dollars a week donating plasma regularly," said Anderson.

And that money goes back into North Central Wisconsin.

"We had 2000 donations just last week, and so that's tens of thousands of dollars that's coming into the community, and then it gets re-circulated," said Anderson.

Nationwide, the number of plasma donations has risen. Before the recession, there were 12.5 million plasma donations in the United States, according to the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association. In 2008—the height of the economic downturn—there were 18.5 million donations.

But besides money, Anderson says giving plasma has other benefits.

"Primarily it goes to hemophiliacs, people with immune deficiencies, people who are burn victims, trauma victims," said Anderson.

Aaron Maass says his motivation for donating changed over time. He says money certainly helps him, but that helping others is just as rewarding.

"It was probably the extra money until I got to see the videos of the people it actually helped, and then it turned into 50-50," he said. "Instead of sitting in my dorm room doing nothing, I might as well come and do some good for the world."

If you're interested in donating plasma, visit http://www.biolifeplasma.com/.

Online Reporter: Daniel Woodruff

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