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Honoring Our Veterans

Honoring Our Veterans

TBC Honors Our Veterans

The Blood Connection (TBC) is hosting a Veteran’s Day Blood Drive on November 11th at all TBC Donation Centers and at Greenville Office Supply (GOS) in Greer, SC. Lockheed Martin will also be participating on November 14th. Both companies are proud supporters of the Wounded Warrior Program, an organization that focuses on partnering with companies to hire veterans. For every blood donor on Veteran’s Day, TBC will donate $10 to the Wounded Warrior Program. Donors will also receive a gift card. Help TBC honor our veterans for their service by donating blood and saving local lives.

Locations: 270 N. Grove Medical Park in Spartanburg, 1308 Sandifer Blvd in Seneca, 341 Old Abbeville Hwy in Greenwood, 5116 Calhoun Memorial Hwy in Easley, 435 Woodruff Rd in Greenville

 

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 of veterans, it’s a sincere action of an appreciative community. 

Also on one of the most patriotic days of the year, U.S. Army Veteran Steve Harrell is donating blood with TBC in Arden, NC with one mission in mind: to save lives. That mission has led Harrell on a trip around the nation, donating blood in every state.

“If you want to be a hero…you can do that right here at home,” Harrell told TBC. “People that give blood are heroes too, they’re saving lives every time they donate.”

With the help of TBC, Harrell will donate in the 10th state on his list, North Carolina. He will be donating with TBC again in South Carolina to check the box for state #11. The Jacksonville, Florida native plans to donate blood every 2 months until he’s given in every state, the last two being Alaska and Hawaii. Harrell says this mission is driven by his passion to give back to the communities that make up the great nation he served in the Army.

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.

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.

Give Thanks, Give Blood

Give Thanks, Give Blood

Blood donors, someone is thankful for you

Blood donors share life. And for that, thousands of people in our community are thankful that blood donors give so generously. During a month that’s already filled with reminders of gratitude, The Blood Connection wants to thank our loyal platelet donors with a t-shirt they can wear loud and proud.  

For the entire month of November, platelet donors will receive a special “thankful” t-shirt in addition to the regular gift card.

We hope the shirt reminds platelet donors to be thankful for their ability to donate, while also letting the community know that a blood recipient is thankful for them. In a world filled with so much chaos, stopping to be thankful can do a lot of good. To our donors, thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

So let’s talk about platelets. What are they? Platelets are small fragments in our blood that help stop bleeding. Platelets may be tiny, but they’re POWERFUL. They’re little life-savers for the many brave people who are battling cancer. Chances are, someone you know came to mind. Cancer treatments can reduce patients’ platelet counts, which isn’t a good thing. That’s where our loyal donors come in! Thanks to platelet donations, patients are able to get back the platelets their bodies need to get better. While platelets are primarily used to help cancer patients, others benefit from them too, like people with rare blood diseases or transplant patients.

QUICK FACTS
-Small cell fragments in the blood that help stop or prevent bleeding
-Made in our bone marrow
-Shelf life is only 5 days
-Used most commonly for surgeries, transplants, and cancer treatments

If you’ve donated whole blood before, donating platelets is similar but it takes a little longer. The process can only be done in a center. Through one needle stick and a fancy machine, your blood is drawn and the platelets are filtered out. The rest of your blood components are then given back to you through the same needle. It takes about an hour and a half. Feel free to enjoy your favorite TV shows and snacks on us! Donations can only be made at a TBC Center. Please call your local center or 864-751-1168 with any questions or to make an appointment. Appointments are recommended.

MORE INFO: Click here for a little more explanation about what donation type is best for your blood type.

Centers are open M-F 7a-7p and on the weekends 7-5pm. Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent. Donors must bring a valid photo ID. Platelet donations can only be done after at least one whole blood donation.

Click the button below to find a donation center near you.

A Precious Story

A Precious Story

A Precious Story

            As a parent of a child who used blood products to survive, it has been an honor for me to be employed at The Blood Connection.  I started this journey in 2000 as a recruitment volunteer sharing my daughter’s story throughout the community and surrounding collection areas to help increase minority blood donations and sickle cell awareness.  My daughter, Precious Gamble, received monthly blood transfusions in order to keep her hemoglobin as close to twelve as possible to prevent her from having additional strokes due to sickle cell disease.  During this time, it was extremely hard to find minority blood donors with the same genetic makeup as Precious. In most cases, it doesn’t matter who the blood donor was as long as the blood was on the shelf when needed. However, in rare cases like someone receiving monthly blood transfusions, it’s important for the recipient to receive blood from someone of the same ethnicity due to each race having different types of antigens pertinent to them.  Sharing my daughter’s story taught me that there are people in this world willing to help you even if they don’t know you.  Precious’ story helped increase minority blood donations by 1000 units in 2001.

            After my daughter died in February 2004, I made it my mission to continue promoting the importance of minority blood donations and sickle cell awareness.  I was hired at The Blood Connection as a “Special Recruiter” in September, 2004. In this position, I was constantly out in the community recruiting blood donors, setting up booths at health fairs, doing speaking engagements at local schools, colleges, different community organizations and churches sharing my daughter’s story and educating the community on the different myths about donating blood.  While being out in the community was rewarding within itself, I decided to switch departments after three and a half years and learn all that I could about what happens to the blood after it’s donated.

            In the manufacturing systems department, the whole blood unit is turned into different life saving components.  This is a very busy department. On a daily basis the whole blood units collected are separated into an rbc, plasma and sometimes a cryoprecipitate. The rbc is then leukoreduced by filtration and when all testing is complete, the components, are ready for distribution out to the hospitals.  To be a part of the processing side is completely different from the recruiting side because it’s more hands on and public free unless there is a tour coming through. This is an interesting process to see during a tour. Although, being in this department, didn’t allow me to promote minority blood donations on a daily basis, it did help me to play a major role in making sure that the components were prepared in a safe manner for future recipients.  Having good team oriented employees in this department helps to ensure that component processing never comes to a halt.  Although, processing the blood was interesting and sometimes fun, in 2018, I decided to switch departments again to learn how it all ties together.

            Every unit of blood collected has to be approved by the Quality Systems (QS) department. This department is basically behind the scene making sure that all The Blood Connection standards are upheld to the highest quality within each department. By doing the behind the scene inspections and reviews QS is able to help carry out the mission of all TBC employees to make sure that our hospitals have an adequate, safe and cost effective blood supply.

My name is Priscilla Ketter and I am a proud employee carrying out the mission of The Blood Connection while helping to save one more for Precious.

 

Be(er) Local, Save Lives

Be(er) Local, Save Lives

Oktoberfest…For Beer Lovers and Lifesavers!

Leaves…pumpkins…sweater weather…and beer! That’s the sweet sound of October! And there’s no better way to ring in the Fall season than by saving lives with TBC! Good news — we’re teaming up with community-centered breweries the entire month so you can get rewarded for being a lifesaver. 

It’s Oktoberfest the TBC way! Just like our brewery partners, we take pride in being local. As your community blood center, blood donations stay local, so when you donate with TBC, you save lives in the community. To celebrate Oktoberfest and our communities, TBC will be having mobile blood drives at various local breweries. Stop by to donate blood and you’ll walk away with a brewery gift card and snazzy koozie to hold that cold one.

(Please do not drink alcohol before or after donating blood)

Brewery blood drives vary by region: 

Raleigh/ENC:

2-Oct 4p-8p LoneRider-Wake Forest 1839 S. Main St Ste 600, Wake Forest
5-Oct 12p-5p Fullsteam 726 Rigsbee Ave, Durham
6-Oct 12p-4p Clouds 1233 Front St, Raleigh
18-Oct 4p-8p Morgan St. Food Hall 411 W. Morgan St., Raleigh
19-Oct 12:30p-5:30p Big Boss Brewing 1249 Wicker Dr, Greenville
20-Oct 1p-6p Deep River Brewing 700 W. Main St., Ste 102
25-Oct 4p-8p Morgan St. Food Hall 411 W. Morgan St., Raleigh
26-Oct 12p-6p Pitt St. Brewing 630 S Pitt St., Greenville
26-Oct 1p-6p Oak City Brewing  616 N. First Ave, Knightdale
12-Oct 12-2:30pm Hi-Wire Brewing 800 Taylor St. Durham
19-Oct 2p-6p Lonerider-Raleigh 8816 Gulf Ct., Raleigh 
29-Oct 4p-8p The Glass Jug 5410 NC-55 Suite V, Durham 
31-Oct 4p-8p Trophy Brewing and Tap 656 Maywood Ave, Raleigh 

Upstate SC: 

8-Oct 3:30-8:30pm Keowee Brewing 401 E Main St, Seneca
26-Oct 12-5pm 13 Stripes Brewery 250 Mill Street, Taylors
20-Oct 3:30-6pm Carolina Bauernhaus- Anderson 115 Federal St, Anderson
25-Oct 3-8pm  Iron Hill Brewery 741 Haywood Rd, Greenville

Charleston:

5-Oct 1p-6p Palmetto Brewing Co. 289 Huger St, Charleston
9-Oct 5p-9p Frothy Beard Brewing Co. 1401 Sam Rittenberg Blvd, Charleston
12-Oct 11:30-3:30 Low Tide Brewing 2863 Maybank Hwy, Johns Island
13-Oct 11a-3p Holy City Brewing 4155 Dorchester Rd, Charleston
24-Oct 4-8pm Ghost Monkey Brewery 522 Wando Ln, Mt Pleasant
27-Oct 1-5pm Tradesman Brewery 1647 King St Ext N, Charleston
27-Oct 12-4pm Two Blokes Brewery 547 Long Point Rd, Mt Pleasant

Asheville:

6-Oct 4-9pm Asheville Pizza and Brewing 675 Merrimon Ave., Asheville
16-Oct 2-7pm Oskar Blues Brewery 342 Mountain Industrial Dr, Brevard

*Click on each brewery name to make an appointment. 

Local blood donations are especially important as winter approaches. Donations usually take a dip in the colder months. But the demand for blood never stops. That’s why our blood donors are essential to saving lives. Be the difference for someone in your community!

Blood donors must be healthy, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be 17 years old or 16 with written parental consent. Donors must bring a valid photo ID. 

TBC Joins Jordan’s Journey

TBC Joins Jordan’s Journey

Jordan’s Journey: #jj33strong

In June, 15-year-old Jordan Freeman was diagnosed with Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Because blood transfusions are an important part of her treatments, Jordan’s father, Mark Freeman, has led the charge to host blood drives in the area since Jordan’s diagnosis. Mark is is a Spartanburg County Deputy and well known in the community. The hashtag above has been the symbol of Jordan’s fight against the disease.

As her father explained on Facebook about the diagnosis: “She has been put on a 21 day cycle of treatment, days 1-3 is spent in the hospital receiving Chemo meds through an IV Port she had surgically implanted, on days 4-7 she will be at home taking oral meds, on day 8 she will have to go back to the Hospital for additional meds to be given through her port, on days 9-21 she will be home again taking oral meds, then it will start again for 5 cycles, 3 days in the hospital, home, 1 day at the hospital, 7 days at home, etc…We want to thank everyone for their outpouring of love and support, and appreciate all the support we have already received.”

Through the TBC Donor Benefit Plan, donors who gave blood during the “Jordan’s Journey” blood drives will be giving back to Jordan’s recovery by replenishing the local blood supply. Those blood donations will also help Jordan’s family pay for her treatments. At the latest collective blood drive in Jordan’s honor, the Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office, Anderson County Sheriff’s Office, and Fox Carolina teamed up. Those blood drives collected 70 donations, enough to help save the lives of more than 200 people, just like Jordan!

Jordan’s unexpected diagnosis is an example of how blood products need to be available at any time, for any patient. That means community donors must give on a regular basis. When Jordan needed blood products, they were available because donors knew it was worth the time to donate blood. TBC is asking the rest of the community to do the same for Jordan and other hospital patients like her in the Upstate.

Find a blood drive near you today. Click here to learn more about the Donor Benefit Plan. To follow along with Jordan Journey, like her Facebook page.

Hurricane Dorian: How You Can Help

Hurricane Dorian: How You Can Help

Hurricane Dorian Threatens Local Blood Supply

As evacuations begin for those in the path of Hurricane Dorian, The Blood Connection has also been forced to move its coastal resources out of the Charleston area. Any resources used to collect blood in that area have been moved to Greenville, SC. More blood drives will be added in order to support the areas where TBC is unable to collect donations during the storm. Most likely, Charleston blood drives will be canceled throughout the week since the buses have been moved.

“We are in a critical time window now to get the donations we need before the hurricane so there is no worry about local supply when it hits, wherever it hits,” said TBC President and CEO, Delisa English. “This is an all hands on deck situation for blood donors. Saving lives is TBC’s everyday responsibility and that doesn’t change when the weather does. Local hospital patients are counting on us.”

Blood donations in the Upstate of South Carolina, Western North Carolina, and Raleigh will be even more vital this week to make sure the local blood supply holds steady through the storm. As communities along the East Coast prepare for the hurricane, blood donors in other communities farther inland are being asked to support those unable to donate or have scheduled blood drives because of the hurricane.

TBC will be opening its Anderson Mall location this week as an emergency collections site: Tuesday-Thursday from 3pm-8pm. Donors do not need an appointment.

Buses normally used in the Charleston area have been reassigned to these Upstate locations:

Walmart-Gaffney Tuesday, Sep 3 2-7P
Walmart-Pickens Tuesday, Sep 3 2-7P
Walmart-Taylors Tuesday, Sep 3 2-7P
Furman University (in front of the bookstore) Wednesday, Sep 4 11A-4P
Clemson University (APO @ Core) Wednesday, Sep 4 + Thursday, Sep 5

11A-4P

 

Stay tuned to this page for hours and information about emergency sites. Donors can call 1-800-392-6551 with any questions.

Because of the daily crucial need for blood, TBC must operate 365 days a year. To assure that happens, TBC is a member of two national organizations that focus on disaster preparedness: American Association of Blood Banks (AABB) and Blood Centers of America (BCA). TBC send needed blood products to affected areas in coordination with BCA’s national resource sharing program. TBC will also follow any disaster response guidelines coming from AABB during a state of emergency. Management and staff have been reviewing those guidelines as Dorian approaches. While TBC’s priority is to supply its local hospitals first, it also has a responsibility to help other communities in times of crisis. Thank you to all the blood donors who will step up this week to help through the storm!