Current thank you item: Donating is My Favorite Elf T-shirt
LEXINGTON, Ky. – Kentucky Blood Center challenged donors before Wednesday to break the 450-donor mark in the coming days of Big Blue Crush. With 458 donors on day three, Kentucky fans answered the call and widened is lead in the annual competition versus Knoxville’s MEDIC Regional Blood Center.
KBC leads MEDIC 1,262-1,057 after Tennessee’s 390-donor turnout Wednesday.
Most importantly, Kentucky fans are putting much-needed blood on the shelves for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, the inspiration behind the 35th annual blood drive.
“It’s obvious Big Blue Nation really wants this victory over Tennessee,” said Mandy Brajuha, VP of external relations. “We want to get that trophy back, but this is far from over. Thursday and Friday of these drives usually produce the biggest turnouts, so we know Tennessee fans are going to try to put some pressure on us. Let’s keep the momentum going and provide our 70-plus hospitals with a boost going into the holiday.”
Kentucky leads the series 19-14-1, but victory has never been so important in the friendly rivalry. Donations are down nationally since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The ongoing shortage places an even bigger emphasis on a big showing this week to prepare for the historically low-donation, high-transfusion holiday next week.
Blood transfusions, which occur every two seconds in the U.S., provide lifelines for trauma, aid in surgeries, a source of life to battle diseases such as cancer, and so much more.
All eight KBC donor centers are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the final two days of Big Blue Crush. KBC will be on the University of Kentucky campus from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Gatton Student Center on Thursday and Buell Armory on Friday. Additional mobile drives can be found at kybloodcenter.org/event/big-blue-crush-2022.
All KBC donors will receive a blue “Football School” long-sleeve shirt and be entered to win four tickets to the UK-Louisville football game on Nov. 26 at Kroger Field. A gray “Basketball School” long-sleeve shirt will be provided in January for Big Blue Slam donors.
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 kybloodcenter.org.
Donors can schedule an appointment at kybloodcenter.org or call 800.775.2522. Appointments are highly encouraged during Big Blue Crush. Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows.
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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.