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Behind the Scenes of TBCTV

Behind the Scenes of TBCTV

Introducing TBCTV

The Blood Connection is really excited to roll out our newest video project: TBCTV! Coming soon to all locations, TBCTV is a combination of entertaining and educational videos for donors and visitors to watch while they’re in a center or on a mobile.
 
Over the years, we’ve found that our strongest message comes through the stories of our donors and blood recipients. TBCTV is an accumulation of many years of hearing those stories and figuring out the best ways to share them. TBCTV viewers will not only hear touching stories, but they’ll also learn important facts about blood donation and why it’s so vital that community donors give on a regular basis. The segments will also let donors know about upcoming promotions and events. Of course, our mission of saving local lives is the focus.
 
As we mentioned, viewers will hear the stories of several community members, a few we want to highlight here: Emma, Kristen, Temoor, Shantrell, and Kenneth.
 
Emma Jana from Greenville, SC is a wife and mother of an adorable 1 year old named Liam. Blood donors saved her life after she was in a terrible car accident at the age of 16.
 
Temoor Dard from Cary, NC is a graduating high school senior and soon to be UNC-Chapel Hill freshman whose grandfather needed blood transfusions during heart surgery. He’s been hosting blood drives since he was 14 years old, even though the school system doesn’t allow in-school blood drives.
 
Shantrell Vereen from Piedmont, SC is a father of two daughters and a sickle cell patient, which is a hereditary blood disease. That means he needs 8 donors every 3 weeks to live his life comfortably.
 
Kenneth Greene is a loyal O-Negative blood donor at the Asheville center. He gives because his dad was diagnosed with a blood disorder that required many transfusions at the end of his life.
 
Kristen Odom from Taylors, SC is a wife and mother of a very active (and very cute) 2 year old, Caroline. Blood donors saved her life after she had labor delivery complications in 2017.
 
Every single one of these stories showcases a different need in our communities, combining to create a powerful story of neighbors coming together to save lives through TBC. And there are many more stories where those came from. There are many more stories like these, of survival, victory, and love. Our team is not done telling them. TBCTV will continue to grow and expand for many years to come. A special thanks to our partners at 9/8 Central in Greenville, SC for helping us tell these stories in the best way.
 

“You never know when you or your family will need it. You never know who you’re gonna be helping out…it’s the right thing to do.”  -Kenneth Greene

If you’d like to tell us your story or have any suggestions for TBCTV, email us at marketing@thebloodconnection.org. We want to know your thoughts! To watch some of the full stories, head to our YouTube page.

Life, Liberty, Labor Day

Life, Liberty, Labor Day

Give your Neighbor Life and Liberty

While you’re soaking up the last rays of summer sunshine on Labor Day (and we all need the break, right?), take the time to save a life with The Blood Connection. In the trips-to-the-grocery-store, laundry-folding, making-dinner kind of moments, remember what’s going on in your local hospitals. Doctors and nurses are using donated blood to save lives. That blood comes from neighbors in your community who want to make a difference.

 

Back by popular demand!
Donate blood at any TBC center from 08/30-09/02 and get a Life and Liberty t-shirt!

We love thanking our donors for being lifesavers! Blood donors will also receive a gift card.

*shirts are while supplies last

Local blood donations are especially important during this critical time of the summer where TBC typically sees a dip in donor turnout. But the demand for blood never takes a vacation. That’s why our blood donors are essential to saving lives this Labor Day weekend. Be the difference for someone in your community!

Click here to find a donation center near you. 

“I’ve been given my life back:” Kristen Odom’s Story

“I’ve been given my life back:” Kristen Odom’s Story

Because 25 Blood Donors Gave Her Life

You can tell from her smile that Kristen Odom is full of joy. Just talk to her for 30 seconds, and you’ll find that joy stems from her overwhelming gratitude. She’s happily married with an adorable 2-year-old, Caroline, and loves her job teaching at a local school. Sure, that’s a lot to be thankful for…no wonder she’s so happy!

But talk to her a little bit longer, and it’s clear there’s a reason for that abundant thankfulness. Almost 2 years ago, Odom had complications after her daughter’s delivery. Odom was only able to hold her beautiful newborn baby for several minutes, before she started feeling dizzy. Seconds later, she was whisked away to an operating room with no explanation.

“Everything was super easy, non dramatic, up until it was not.”

Turns out, Odom had been bleeding internally for a while. She had lost a lot of blood. After racing her to the operating room, doctors at St. Francis Eastside immediately started blood transfusions to save her life. All in all, she received more than 25 units of red cells, platelets, and plasma. Those products came from donors with The Blood Connection, the primary blood supplier for the St. Francis-Bon Secours hospital system.

Odom’s husband and brand new dad waited for hours for a head nod from doctors that she was ok. Finally, four hours later…some good news. Doctors had found the source of the bleed and were able to completely replenish Odom’s body with blood products. Once the shock of everything wore off, both Odom and her husband realized that local blood donors had saved her life.

“I would not be here today if that [blood products] wasn’t there…I know that it was because about 25 people donated blood, it saved my life,” said Odom. “I needed so much of it…it was there because there was enough…I’ve been given my life back.”

So yes, Odom and her husband, Brent, are the stop-and-smell-the-roses kind of couple. They understand true gratitude because it lives and breathes in the form of their daughter.

“I often think about it in the little things like we celebrate her birthday, it’s a pretty day outside, or we’re at the beach…this day I get to enjoy because somebody donated blood. I had this overwhelming sense of gratitude…it just still shocks me to this day…here we are, living a completely normal life…because blood was available and they did what they needed to do right away.”

Watching Caroline grow up (too fast) reminds Brent Odom of the moment he thought he might have to raise her alone.

“I remember sitting in the NICU with Caroline that evening…and just remember praying, Lord, I can’t do this alone, so I’m just so thankful that she’s [his wife] here today, because of donors.”

As an O-Negative donor, Brent is now committed to donating blood every time he’s eligible, every 56 days. It’s his way of paying it forward.

Now the Odoms are using their story of survival to spread the message about blood donation. They’re reminded of it when they’re chasing little Caroline around in their quaint Taylors, SC neighborhood or singing Caroline’s favorite song, “The Wheels on the Bus Go Round and Round,” over and over again. That contagious song may never get out of their heads, and neither will their appreciation for every local blood donor.

Blood donors have the chance to do what others did for the Odoms, every day. Step on a donation bus or into a TBC center and that opportunity awaits.

TBC is here to answer any questions about donating blood. Click here to find a list of center locations and here for a list of upcoming blood drives in the Upstate. To those who already donate, thank you for spreading the love throughout your community! We hope you enjoy a peek into the life of the Odom family below.

Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers

Honoring Our Fallen Soldiers

TBC Honors Our Community’s Fallen Soldiers

In recognition of Memorial Day, The Blood Connection is honored fallen soldiers with a commemorative 4-day blood drive. TBC remembers those selfless heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to serve and protect this great nation. As an organization whose main mission is to save lives, TBC thanks those brave men and women for their service.

To honor the fallen and their families, The Blood Connection teamed up with the Wounded Warrior Project. For every center donor from May 24-27, TBC gave $10 to the BCA (Blood Centers of America) Special Forces Wounded Warriors Fund. The organization gives back to U.S. Special Forces injured warriors, caregivers, and family members, to raise money and awareness to those who are serving or who have served. Hundreds of people in our community sacrificed their time to make a blood donation in honor of fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. Because of those donors, The Blood Connection gave more than $7,000 to the BCA Special Forces Wounded Warriors Fund! (This fund has no affiliation to the Wounded Warrior Project/Fund.)

Donors also dedicated these patriotic pinwheels to a loved one or fallen soldier. They stood proud in our centers’ lawns in rememberance. TBC is proud of this community. Thank you for showing your gratitude!

 

Quoted above is Kenneth Greene. He donates regularly with TBC in memory of his father, an army veteran. While the sacrifice of donating blood comes nowhere near to the sacrifice fallen soldiers have made, it’s a sincere action of an appreciative community. Not only does the blood donation help save local lives, the monetary donation goes towards a better life for a veteran. What better way to honor a life lost than with the act of saving one?

Each blood donation has the power to save up to three lives. Together as a community, help show these local heroes and their families that we support them too.

TBC blood donors have been getting quite the praise from other local blood donation centers for their dedication to honoring those who serve. 

I wanted to take a moment of your time and publicly give “kudos” to The Blood Connection (TBC) for the terrific Memorial Day promotion they conducted.  During the Memorial Day weekend, TBC invited blood and platelet donors to come and support / honor members of the military through blood donations.  In return, TBC donated $10 to the BCA Special Forces Wounded Warrior Fund.  This promotion proved to be very successful! 

The Blood Connection recently presented a check for $7000 to the Fund! 

I want to publicly thank Delisa English and her excellent staff at TBC for a terrific idea and for the incredible gift!  This was a very successful promotion that resulted in a generous contribution that will go a long way to help some very worthwhile service personnel and their families.

The most recent request from the Care Coalition that we supported really encapsulates why the BCA Special Forces Wounded Warrior Fund was created…

  • There is a young sergeant who was injured on a parachute jump during a training exercise at Fort Bragg in N.C..  
  • As if his injury wasn’t difficult enough for him and his family, his unborn daughter has been diagnosed with Trisomy 18 (also called “Edwards Syndrome”).  She also has a heart defect that will require open heart surgery after birth.
  • This young soldier’s wife is seeing a specialist at a Children’s Hospital in the Midwest.   This is where the baby will be born and the surgery performed.  The baby will remain in the hospital for 8 weeks.
  • The wife is having complications from the pregnancy.
  • The father will be in training at Fort Bragg.
  • Trisomy 18 is a genetic disorder that often causes a combination of birth defects.  These defects can include severe intellectual disabilities, as well as health problems involving any or all organs in the body.  Unfortunately, most babies born with Trisomy 18 die by age 1.  But a small percentage can survive beyond the first birthday.
  • This young family has exhausted their savings as a result of these issues.   

This is an incredibly sad situation for this young family.  But we are very pleased to be able to help them in a small way by assisting with some of their travel expenses.

If you ever wondered if the Fund helps individuals, now you know. 

– David Allen, President & CEO of Mississippi Blood Services

When donors give local with The Blood Connection, it stays local. TBC is the primary blood provider for local hospitals, which means when anyone there needs blood, TBC supplies it. While trauma is the most obvious reason for blood usage, cancer patients are usually the number one recipients of blood products. Donations are also needed for burn victims, premature infants, surgeries, and those with blood disorders, to name a few. When community members share blood, healing happens, and families remain whole. 

Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent. Our centers are open Monday-Friday 7am-7pm and Saturday-Sunday 7am-5pm. Click here to make an appointment or to call a specific center.

Featured Artist: Cindy Hammond

Featured Artist: Cindy Hammond

Featured Artist: Cindy Hammond

My interest in Art began at an early age with my mother and grandmother crafting, knitting, sewing, and expressing their creativity in many ways.  My interest in 2-D art began in high school and further developed in college as a Studio Arts major concentrating in Drawing and Design.

After graduation, I worked as a designer and then entered the field of graphics.  Taking time out to raise my family, I didn’t re-ignite my love for Art until the early 2000’s admiring the works of many painters.  First, working in watercolors, years later, I then moved to oils and acrylics.  Today, I primarily work in oils and love the texture, color, and values achieved in the richly pigmented paints.  I consider myself self taught in painting and continue to take workshops to further my techniques, skill, and knowledge of painting.  I have worked with many seasoned artists throughout my journey.  To name a few, Mary Segars, Jacki Newell, Alice Williams, Gary Bodner, Jeff Erikson, Mark Bettis, Leslie Saeta, and Sandra Roper.  They all have inspired me in different ways and I feel fortunate to have studied with these exceptional artists.

I am a contemporary oil painter working in both experimental and representational themes.  I create abstracts in an oil and cold wax medium lending itself to a freer form of art, focusing on, form, color, line, texture, markings, and movement.  When I paint traditional oils, I like a loose brushstroke, creating soft edges, harmonious color, simplicity, and a painterly style.  I like to work from photographs and use a limited palette to maintain harmony in the painting.

I hope you enjoy viewing my art as much as I enjoy creating it.  All of the art are original pieces created in my studio located in Fountain Inn, SC at 301 Farmwood Drive, Fountain Inn, SC  29644.

I can be reached at 864-270-5063 and via email at clhammond@charter.net or cindyhammondfineart@gmail.com.