Southern Charm Star and Local Cancer Survivor Partner with The Blood Connection to Raise Money for LLS

Southern Charm Star and Local Cancer Survivor Partner with The Blood Connection to Raise Money for LLS

Hosting Blood Drives Throughout April

CHARLESTON, S.C. (March 28, 2023) 25% of donated blood products help cancer patients going through treatment.  Many of those patients are battling blood cancers, like leukemia and lymphoma, and require blood transfusions to make it through months of grueling treatment.  The Blood Connection (TBC) is proud to partner with two candidates for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Visionaries of the Year, to help raise money in the fight against blood cancer.

Throughout the next month, TBC will partner with Liza Patterson, a lymphoma survivor from Charleston, and Naomie Olindo, Southern Charm star and owner of L’Abeye boutique, to host blood drives which will ensure blood products are available for cancer patients in need and raise money for LLS.

Liza Patterson was just 29 years old, and five weeks removed from the birth of her daughter, when a trip to the emergency room revealed she had a large mass in her chest.  An ambulance ride to MUSC led to the discovery that the mass was cancer, and later to the diagnosis of Primary Mediastinal Large B-Cell Lymphoma.  During six months of active treatment and countless rounds of chemotherapy, Patterson often found herself on the other end of blood transfusions.

“My life and the lives of those who love me would look very different today without generous donors like yourself,” said Patterson.  “Blood donation saved my life, and every new donor will save more lives.”

Her team, “No Bad Blood,” will host two blood drives in April: one at the Co-Op on Sullivans Island, and another on Charleston Center Drive, between Shawn Jenkins Children’s Hospital and Ashley River Tower, where Patterson received her intensive treatment.

Southern Charm star Naomie Olindo came face-to-face with the devastating effects of cancer when her father was diagnosed with Stage 3 esophageal cancer in December of 2018. He ultimately passed away from the disease a year later.  While not leukemia or lymphoma, the diagnosis was a reminder to her that cancer does not discriminate; it impacts those in our community every day and more needs to be done to find a cure.  Olindo had the opportunity to meet leukemia survivor and TBC advocate Rhys Shaw and his family, which encouraged her to join TBC in hosting blood drives supporting LLS.

“When you need a blood transfusion – it is a real emergency – and community members taking the time before that emergency to donate blood, is a great way to impact our community,” said Olindo.

Olindo’s team “Out for Blood,” will host two blood drives with TBC, the first on March 29 on Daniel Island with the Shaw family, and the second on April 17, at L’Abeye.

Details for each blood drive can be found below.

If donors are not able to attend these specific drives, they can still donate for the cause, by donating their reward points to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in the TBC Online Store.  Donors can find convenient blood drives near them by going to

The Blood Connection Partners with Community Groups to  “Share the Love” by Sharing Life in February

The Blood Connection Partners with Community Groups to “Share the Love” by Sharing Life in February

The Blood Connection Partners with Community Groups to “Share the Love” by Sharing Life in February

TBC hosting blood drives with Texas Roadhouse,

Girl Scouts – Mountains to Midlands

THE CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA (February 16, 2023) Many have heard of “love languages”; the ways we share and receive love from those most important in our life.  One of those love languages? Acts of service.  What better act of service than donating blood with The Blood Connection (TBC) and their partner organizations? Donating blood is a compassionate way to show our neighbors and community just how much we care.  This February, TBC is partnering with Texas Roadhouse and the Girl Scouts – Mountains to Midlands council to provide fun and rewarding opportunities to donate blood.


 “The best gift you can give doesn’t come wrapped in a bow, or with a bouquet of flowers,” said Delisa English, President and CEO of The Blood Connection.  “The best gift is the selfless act of rolling up your sleeve and donating blood, to give someone the precious life-sustaining resource needed to spend another day with their loved ones.”


 Partnerships like the ones mentioned allow TBC to reach a new group of potential blood donors: something that is becoming more and more imperative to combat the ever-shrinking blood donor pool.  The blood donor population is currently aging, in what has been deemed a “silver tsunami.” As the core group of blood donors gets older and is no longer able to donate blood, the younger generations are not choosing to donate blood as frequently, causing the blood supply to become unstable.  TBC is thankful for partners like Texas Roadhouse and the Girl Scouts, who choose to spread the word about the need for blood donors not just once a year, but all year-round.


 “The need for blood donors never goes away,” said English. “We’re hopeful that these partnerships will bring a flood of eager blood donors, both new and old, when our buses deploy across the region on February 23 and March 2.”


On February 23, TBC will host two separate blood drives with the Girl Scouts – Mountains to Midlands council.  As a thank you for donating, all blood donors at those blood drives will receive a box of Thin Mints or Samoas (while supplies last), plus a $30 eGift card.  For every blood donor, TBC will also donate $20 to the council.  Please see the details for the individual blood drives below:

Also, on February 23 and March 2, TBC is once again partnering with Texas Roadhouse for the “Hearts as Big as Texas” campaign.  Now in its fifth year, Hearts as Big as Texas brings more than 20 bloodmobiles out across the Carolinas and Georgia to make blood donation convenient and fun for community members. As a thank you for donating, all blood donors will receive a $20 Texas Roadhouse Gift card, a free appetizer coupon, plus a bonus $30 eGift card!  Participating locations include:

  • Anderson, SC
  • Asheville, NC
  • Augusta, GA
  • Columbia (Columbiana), SC
  • Columbia (Two Notch), SC
  • Durham, NC
  • Florence, SC
  • Gainesville, GA
  • Gastonia, NC
  • Greenville, NC
  • Holly Springs, NC
  • Macon, GA
  • Myrtle Beach, SC
  • North Charleston, SC
  • Savannah, GA
  • Spartanburg, SC
  • Taylors, SC
  • Wake Forest, NC

Appointments for each individual location can be made by going to



The Blood Connection Partners with Community Groups to  “Share the Love” by Sharing Life in February

Local Friends Roll Up Their Sleeves to Donate Blood, Ensure Stable Blood Supply

Local Friends Roll Up Their Sleeves to Donate Blood, Ensure Stable Blood Supply

February Blood Donors Receive Special Edition F.R.I.E.N.D.S Sticker

THE CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA (February 2, 2023) Some friends meet at a coffee shop to catch up. Some go for a walk in the park. Others, like Lisa Topolosky and her friends Kelly, Jenn, and Linda, save lives together. The group meets regularly – every eight weeks to be exact – at The Blood Connection (TBC) donation center in Raleigh. It’s where they can catch up while helping their community – knowing their quality time is also giving their neighbors a chance at the same thing. This February, TBC hopes more community members will enlist their friends to join them in giving the gift of life, by donating blood with their community blood center.

Blood donation hits close to home for Lisa Topolosky: her daughter Abby was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor when she was just five years old and received countless blood transfusions as part of her treatment. Seven years later, Abby has been in remission for several years, but now Lisa encourages her friends and her community to join her in giving blood.

“It was amazing to me, there are people out there donating for her. The least I can do is go out, 30 to 45 minutes, every eight weeks to give back to somebody else going through it,” Topolosky said.

Through her family’s non-profit, Abby’s Army, she has become an advocate for other families whose children are also battling pediatric cancer. 25% of blood donations are used to help cancer patients, many of them children. That’s why it’s important to Topolosky that people donate blood. That’s also why her friends have made blood donation part of their routines.

“I never realized how important blood donation was until Lisa’s daughter went through her cancer treatment,” said Kelly McAleer. “Knowing that there are people out there- someone’s child, someone’s loved one- in need right now, and knowing that people who cared enough to donate when my friend’s daughter needed it…I feel like I can at least do my part. So, giving blood in honor of my friends, it only feels right to do it with my friends…”

In setting the dates for their future donation get-togethers, the foursome has also set an example for their friends, family, and neighbors.

“I’d been a donor for years but hadn’t always been very consistent with it until we all got together to do a group blood donation and lunch date after,” said Linda Blevins. “Blood donation is such an easy thing to do and has a really positive impact for others. It’s also another small way for me to show love and support to Lisa, Abby, and the good work of Abby’s Army. Going as a group is a lot of fun but also helps us all stay on track to donate regularly.”

The Blood Connection is encouraging others across the region to make an appointment to donate blood with their friends and become a community friend while they do it! As a thank you for donating blood in the month of February, all blood donors will receive a limited-edition FRIENDS-themed blood donor sticker, plus a BONUS $30 eGfit card! Donors are encouraged to post a picture with their sticker on social media tagging The Blood Connection (@thebloodconnection) and using the hashtag #therefortbc to be entered to win one of four $100 eGift cards! To make an appointment to donate this February, go to

The Blood Connection Partners with Community Groups to  “Share the Love” by Sharing Life in February

The Difference is YOU: The Blood Connection Urges Community to Add Donating Blood to New Year’s Resolutions in 2023

The Difference is YOU: The Blood Connection Urges Community to Add Donating Blood to New Year’s Resolutions in 2023

January is National Blood Donor Month

THE CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA (January 2, 2023) Right now, a team of doctors is scrubbing in for a surgery while a patient waits for a procedure that they hope will save their life; blood bags are prepared and ready.  In a different hospital, a team of nurses is giving a trauma victim a lifesaving blood transfusion.  Several floors away, a cancer patient is receiving a platelet transfusion after chemotherapy.  Those patients, and thousands of others, can hope and plan for the new year because blood products were available. 

As we enter 2023, many are looking at a piece of paper, writing down their new year’s resolutions and goals: ‘read ten books…get outside more often…go to the gym.’ The Blood Connection (TBC), the non-profit community blood center, is encouraging people to add one more thing to that list: save a life with TBC. It may sound daunting.  It may sound unachievable.  But with just one hour and one blood donation, three lives can be saved in this community. The difference between a joyous and tragic new year for many local families is community blood donors.

“The new year brings hope and new opportunities.  Many local hospital patients wouldn’t have that hope and opportunity, without lifesaving blood products,” said Delisa English, President and CEO of The Blood Connection.  “Giving blood gives local hospital patients hope for successful treatments and more time with their families. You can really make the difference in 2023 for our neighbors in need.”

Blood products are used every minute for a wide range of treatments.  Cancer patients use 25 percent of all blood donations. Blood transfusions are needed in one out of every 83 newborn deliveries in America today, a rate that has increased by more than 50 percent between 2006 and 2015. Everyone likely knows someone who has needed or will need blood, but despite that, most of the U.S. population does not donate blood. While 60% of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, only 3% or roughly 7 million people, are holding up the nation’s blood supply, as reports of blood shortages become more and more frequent.

In addition, older Americans are the most frequent blood donors.  The rate of donations from those 65 and older increased by 15 percent between 2017 and 2019. However, during that same time period, the percentage of younger blood donors – those between the ages of 16 and 24 years old – decreased by double digits. 

“That trajectory is unsustainable,” said English. “The answer is looking many of us in the mirror: every eligible donor has the ability, and dare we say responsibility, to create a more reliable and available blood supply for our community.”

TBC operates 14 physical donation centers, and more than 50 mobile units, across the Carolinas and Georgia, to make blood donation convenient for community members.  With the community’s help, TBC can ensure all hospitals, and their patients, have the lifesaving blood products needed for any situation.

“We encourage people to add saving lives to their list of resolutions in 2023,” said English.  “And what better way to kick off the new year than by donating during National Blood Donor Month. We hope community members will join us in solidifying the blood supply by donating blood for the first time, donating more often, or by hosting a blood drive with TBC.” 

More than 50 years ago, on December 31, 1969, President Richard Nixon signed a proclamation designating January as National Blood Donor Month – a move designed to honor voluntary blood donors and to encourage more people to give blood at a time when blood donations are critically needed.  Following the holidays, blood donor turnout has historically dropped, as people return from holiday travel, get busy with work, and often battle seasonal illnesses.  The world looks vastly different in 2023 than it did when the proclamation was signed in 1969, but the need for blood, and for blood donors, has not changed: if anything, it has only increased. 

TBC is urging community members to make blood donation a priority in 2023 – because, simply put: lives depend on it.  To make an appointment to save lives this month, go to



The Blood Connection Partners with Community Groups to  “Share the Love” by Sharing Life in February

“You Realize the Importance”: Blood Donations Needed Ahead of Predicted Drop in Blood Donors during Holiday Season

“You Realize the Importance”: Blood Donations Needed Ahead of Predicted Drop in Blood Donors during Holiday Season 

Blood Donor Turnout Historically Drops As Demand for Blood Increases

CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA (December 15, 2022) The holidays are a time to relax, to reflect, and to recharge.  For the Volousky family of James Island, South Carolina, the holiday season also serves as a reminder of how different their lives looked nearly three years ago, when their three-year-old daughter, Eliza Cate, was diagnosed with cancer.  Now on the other side of that diagnosis, the holidays are a chance to be thankful for her recovery – and for the community blood donors who helped make that possible. 

“Every holiday now, feels a little bit different.  You’re just more thankful,” said Zach Volousky, Eliza Cate’s dad. “You’re just more appreciative of every day that she’s on this earth.”

The holidays are often referred to as the ‘happiest time of the year,’ but for The Blood Connection, the local community blood center, it’s also one of the hardest times of the year.  Lifechanging cancer diagnoses, car accidents, and traumas don’t pause for the holiday season; it’s often the opposite, with hospitals requesting more blood products during the holiday season.  Historically, blood donor turnout also drops, making it difficult to keep the shelves stocked for local hospital patients in need.

“We know there are lots of other families undergoing what we went through,” said Volousky. 

Zach Volousky will never forget January 7, 2020: the day he and his wife, Cadence, received news no parent ever wants to hear: their happy, previously healthy 3-year-old had acute lymphoblastic leukemia.  What started as a quest for answers to recurring fevers and occasional limping, turned into a whirlwind diagnosis and an immediate treatment plan.

“You’re enjoying the holidays and then all the sudden you’re in a lifechanging few years. It’s extremely difficult,” Volousky recounts.

Over the next two years, the Volousky’s life morphed into a new normal filled with appointments, chemotherapy treatments, and more blood transfusions than they ever could have imagined.  Those blood transfusions were readily available for Eliza Cate, thanks to community blood donors.

“I was not a frequent donor. I had donated before, but obviously now, I’m a donor every 56 days,” said Volousky. “You realize the importance.”

The importance of blood donations is hard to quantify.  Blood products cannot be replicated or manufactured in a lab: they must be donated from one person to another. 

“You can give your neighbors a gift ten times greater than what they’ll find under the tree: the gift of more time with their loved ones,” said Delisa English, President and CEO of The Blood Connection.  “Blood donation is a selfless gift to your community that we can all give this holiday season.”

Thanks in part to community blood donors, Eliza Cate is celebrating Christmas this year cancer-free, back to enjoying a normal childhood.  She is just one of many patients across the Carolinas and Georgia that can spend the holidays with their families thanks to the generosity of blood donors with The Blood Connection.

To reach new blood donors and encourage past donors to roll up their sleeves, TBC is excited to offer several exciting incentives for blood donors throughout the month of December.

December 1 – 31: Santa’s Big Giveaway!  Saving lives is hard work – you deserve a vacation! One lucky blood donor will win a five-night stay at a beach condo in Folly Beach, S.C. – a $2,300 value!  Three other donors will also win $500 Air BNB gift cards! (House Rental is for June 15-20. Dates are not flexible.  Prize is not transferable).

December 21 – December 31: As a thank you for donating blood with TBC and saving local lives, all donors will receive a $20 eGift card plus a BONUS $50 eGift card! ***mobile drive incentives may vary***


To find locations to donate, go to




The Blood Connection Partners with Community Groups to  “Share the Love” by Sharing Life in February

The Blood Connection Partners with Feeding the Carolinas to Stock Blood and Food Shelves Ahead of Holidays

The Blood Connection Partners with Feeding the Carolinas to Stock Blood and Food Shelves Ahead of Holidays

Blood Donors Encouraged to Donate Rewards Back to Local Food Bank Organization

THE CAROLINAS AND GEORGIA (November 3, 2022) One in five people in the Carolinas don’t have enough food to eat.  As we enter the holiday season, November is historically one of the hardest months for food banks across the country.  Many North and South Carolinians are either looking for ways to help those in need or looking for help themselves. The Blood Connection (TBC), the non-profit community blood center serving these two states, is dedicating the month of November to addressing the issue of food insecurity in the region by offering blood donors a way to help those in need.


In the month of November, TBC will partner with Feeding the Carolinas – a network of food banks across North and South Carolina that works to provide a healthy, adequate, and consistent food supply – to promote blood donation and food donation.  Each year, Feeding the Carolinas estimates they supply food to more than 2.3 million Carolinians facing hunger.  Feeding the Carolinas also supports the Augusta, Georgia region, which TBC has recently begun operations in.


TBC needs around 1,000 blood donations per day to supply blood to more than 100 hospitals across the Carolinas, and TBC must ensure the shelves are stocked with life-saving blood products when hospital partners call. TBC has set a goal of raising $5,000 for food banks in November, with the hopes of helping neighboring non-profits stock their shelves, as well. Like the need for blood, the need for charitable food does not go away: people in this community will always need food – especially now with inflation at never-before-seen levels.  With one blood donation, a donor can save three lives and help a family in their own community have enough food on the table for Thanksgiving.


“Feeding the Carolinas is excited to partner with another non-profit whose mission aligns so well with ours,” said Mike Darrow, Executive Director of Feeding the Carolinas.  “By donating blood with The Blood Connection in the month of November, you can both help ensure local hospital patients have the lifesaving blood products they need and that your neighbors have food on their tables. The funds raised will ensure our local food banks are running smoothly, reaching out in the community, and most importantly, stocked full of food.”


Throughout the month of November, blood donors will have the option to donate their TBC reward points in the TBC Store to Feeding the Carolinas. At TBC centers, food collection boxes will also be placed out for donors to give non-perishable food items.  TBC is also looking for organizations to host blood drives benefiting Feeding the Carolinas.  Blood drive hosts have the option to donate $10 or $20 per blood donor to Feeding the Carolinas.  For more information about hosting a blood drive in November, go to  To make an appointment to donate or to find a center location, go to