Big Blue Slam blood drive starts Monday

Published: Jan. 25, 2021 at 3:47 AM EST
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT/WKYT) - The 13th annual Big Blue Slam kicks off Monday, January 25th. It’s a competition between the blood donors of Kentucky Blood Center and LifeSouth Blood Center in Gainesville, Florida.

“Blood’s going out the door quicker than it’s coming in the door right now,” says VP of external relations at the Kentucky Blood Center Mandy Brajuha. “Winter is difficult always for blood centers across the county, this year of course being no exception with COVID going on.”

Brajuha says people have been more hesitant to get out and donate. Plus, she explains hospitals are seeing a higher rate of transfusions this year.

“Don’t count on somebody else to make the donation count, make sure you make an appointment and come out,” Brajuha says.

Big Blue Slam in 2021 is not only about donating blood, it’s also about donating plasma. Someone who’s had COVID-19 has plasma with antibodies that can help those struggling with the virus. All donors will be tested for these antibodies. If they have them, they’ll have the option to return later and make that plasma donation.

“A great way to save an initial life when you donate blood, but then you can come back later and save the life of someone battling COVID-19,” Brajuha says.

Brajuah says last year, UK lost to Florida by only 8 vials.

While some friendly competition can be fun, for Cat fans this year it’s not only about getting a W. It’s about saving the lives of fellow Kentuckians.

Volunteers can donate at several locations across the mountains in the coming days, including the KBC locations in Pikeville and Somerset.

Here is a list of dates and times for Eastern Kentucky:

Monday, January 25th:

Summit Church in Hazard: Noon-4 p.m.

Tuesday, January 26th:

Alice Lloyd College: 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Wednesday, January 27th:

Aspire Appalachia in Jackson: 10 a.m.-2 p.m.

Thursday, January 28th:

Pine Mountain Grill in Whitesburg: Noon-5 p.m.

Friday, January 29th:

West Liberty Christian Church: Noon-6 p.m.

Volunteers will receive a long-sleeved Slam T-shirt. You can find out more information about the blood drive, including directions to the locations listed above here.

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