UT vs. UK blood drive donations critical to area hospitals

UT vs. UK blood drive donations critical to area hospitals

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The battle of the orange and blue is back: MEDIC Regional Blood Center's 26th annual blood drive competition between the University of Tennessee and the University of Kentucky. The battle of the orange and blue is back: MEDIC Regional Blood Center's 26th annual blood drive competition between the University of Tennessee and the University of Kentucky.
Kentucky has won the last three years in a row so MEDIC is urging as many UT students and fans to take part. Kentucky has won the last three years in a row so MEDIC is urging as many UT students and fans to take part.
When you donate blood during the Orange vs Blue blood drive, you will receive this commemorative t-shirt. When you donate blood during the Orange vs Blue blood drive, you will receive this commemorative t-shirt.

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - MEDIC Regional Blood Center's 26th annual blood drive competition, Orange vs Blue between the University of Tennessee and the University of Kentucky, kicked off on Monday.

The score after day one of the blood drive is 695 donations from the Vols and 696 donations from the Wildcats. With only one donation difference between the two on day one, MEDIC officials hope Tennessee has a chance to break their three-year losing streak. 

The fans who donate the most blood over the next week win bragging rights leading up to the football game in a few weeks and get to help their community in a big way.

Kentucky won the competition the last three years in a row so MEDIC is urging as many UT students and fans to take part in the donation push that kicks off Monday morning.

"What we need all Vol fans to do is get out to a donation location Monday through Friday and donate blood," said Christi Fightmaster of MEDIC Regional Blood Center. "Every single donation counts."

The goal for Tennessee this year is 3500 donors, but it's not just about winning the orange and blue border war.

The drive is really about providing life-saving blood for the community. Over the busy holiday season, MEDIC sees a major drop in regular blood donations.

"We see a real lull in collections from Thanksgiving through Christmas," said Fightmaster.

The drive makes up for that deficit to ensure MEDIC has enough blood to last them through the holidays.

"This really gets us through until about Christmas. It's really really important to us and this is really what helps us stay ahead of a major blood shortage," said Fightmaster.

Every donation stays in East Tennessee. MEDIC is the sole provider of blood for 28 area hospitals. One donation can save up to three lives.

"It is the blood on the shelf that saves lives in the event of an emergency," said Fightmaster. "All of this blood stays local to help your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers if there is an emergency that takes place."

UT fans can donate at either MEDIC location in Knoxville or at the Blood Mobile Donation buses that will be placed all across the area over the next week.

For more information on the donation locations, visit MEDIC's website.

MEDIC is giving away several incentives to donors this year, including a free T-shirt and coupons for a free Papa John's small pizza and Wendy's frosty.

The winner of the Orange and  Blue blood drive will be announced at the end of the week.

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