Gators Gain Ground but Kentucky Maintains Slam Lead Jan. 23, 2024

Just Eight Donations Separate KBC and LifeSouth Community Blood Center

Kentucky Blood Center leads LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Florida 523-515 (total donations) through two days of Big Blue Slam 2024.

LEXINGTON, Ky. – With Kentucky seeking a fourth straight win in the annual Big Blue Slam, Florida donors pumped the brakes on any notion that victory in this blood battle would be easy.

Florida quickly closed its first-day deficit with a 264-239 donation advantage on Tuesday to get within eight of the total. Kentucky Blood Center leads LifeSouth Community Blood Center in Florida 523-515 (total donations) through two days of the five-day blood battle to boost the winter blood supply.

“Tuesday’s results just go to show that it’s going to take all of us to beat our rivals in Florida and dig out of the hole last week’s winter cancellations put us in,” said Mandy Brajuha, VP of external relations at KBC. “The great part about this competition is that each and every donor can make a difference this week. Whether you want to play an active part in the friendly rivalry vs. Florida or want to make a tangible difference in our community at a time of great need, your decision to spend 45 minutes with us to donate blood will have a real impact.”

Big Blue Slam donors will receive an exclusive Big Blue Slam T-shirt and be entered to win two lower-level tickets to the UK-Florida men's basketball game on Jan. 31 in Rupp Arena.

No matter what the motivation is for participating this week, all donors will receive an exclusive Big Blue Slam T-shirt and entry to win two tickets to the UK-Florida men’s basketball game on Jan. 31 in Rupp Arena as a thank you for making a lifesaving donation.

Big Blue Slam will continue Wednesday at all KBC locations, including KBC’s eight donor centers located in six cites (Lexington, Louisville, Corbin, Frankfort, Pikeville and Somerset). Donor centers are open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. through Friday. Mobile drive options and additional information can be found at Donors can also call 800.775.2522 to schedule a donation.

Appointments are highly encouraged during Big Blue Slam. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows.

Organized 16 years ago around the spirt of athletics, stocking the blood shelves at a critical time of the year is at the heart of this yearly competition, which Kentucky leads 9-6. Winter weather and illness can often hinder collections this time of the year, and KBC has certainly felt the effects of Old Man Winter in 2024.

Last week alone, KBC lost more than 700 donations because of weather-related winter cancellations at donor centers and mobile drives. The weather disruption has had a significant impact on KBC’s blood supply, which requires constant donations to serve its 70-plus hospitals. Several blood types are low, including critical levels (less than a day’s supply) for types O- and A-.

KBC is the exclusive blood provider for UK Healthcare, Baptist Health System, CHI Saint Joseph Health, Appalachian Regional Healthcare and many others.

Blood donors must be at least 17 years old (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds, be in general good health, show a photo I.D. and meet additional requirements. Sixteen-year-old donors must have a signed parental permission slip, which can be found at

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About Kentucky Blood Center

Celebrating 55 years of saving lives in Kentucky, KBC is the largest independent, full-service, nonprofit blood center in Kentucky. Licensed by the FDA, KBC’s sole purpose is to collect, process and distribute blood for patients in Kentucky. KBC provides services in 90 Kentucky counties and has donor centers in Lexington, Louisville, Frankfort, Pikeville, Somerset and the Tri-County area.