Get pumped up for a bloody good cause
Published 9:44 pm Wednesday, May 18, 2016
3rd Billy ‘Yardman’ Noblitt Blood Drive on Friday
Known jokester and veteran real estate agent Billy Noblitt died unexpectedly January 2014.
“He was a blood recipient and went through several units,” said daughter, Belinda Bay.
He has left behind a legacy in the form of a blood drive she coordinated with the Kentucky Blood Center four months after his death.
“This is the third year I have done this,” she said. “And it originated from the loss of my father.”
It was not until seeing her father in need of blood that Bay realized how blood donations can have such an impact on so many, she said.
“We were granted some extra time with him because people took time out of their everyday schedule to donate,” she said. “Yes, it’s not comfortable, but it takes less than an hour and you have the potential to save lives.”
Rain or shine, Bay said the event will be on the Old Capital Lawn and encompass the majority of the day.
The third Givin’, Grillin’ and Chillin’ Billy “Yardman” Noblitt Memorial Blood Drive will be 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday at the Kentucky Blood Center Bloodmobile, 100 W. Broadway St.
Mayor Bill May has declared the day, May 20, as Frankfort Blood Donor Awareness Day.
“It’s one of those things that people need to be aware of,” Bay said. “Blood donation is life-saving and without it, so many people would suffer.”
There will be face painting, DJ Junnie Redden performing from 2-6 p.m., the Swing Street Band performing from 6-10 p.m., cotton candy, glow necklaces, a hula hoop contest, prizes and more. All donors will receive a $10 Walmart gift card, T-shirt and lunch from Staxx and Terri’s Catering. Call 502-803-0470 for more information.
Donors must be in good health, weigh at least 110 pounds, at least 16 years of age (parental permission is required for 16-year-old donors) and must show a photo I.D. (such as a driver’s license, school I.D. or other government identification).
Martha Osborne, Kentucky Blood Center’s executive director of marketing and recruitment, said those unsure they’re eligible to donate are urged to find out.
“We like to encourage people if they don’t know to try,” Osborne said. “A lot of people think if they’ve had tattoos, they can’t. But if it was done in a state-licensed facility, they can. A lot think if they have diabetes, they can’t, but that’s okay now too.”
Until the FDA has approved changes to the donor health history form, Osborne said gay and bisexual men can’t be accepted as donors. Last December, the FDA proposed the lift of a 31-year-ban from gay and bisexual men making blood donations if they’d had sex since 1977. The new policy, when approved, would provide eligibility for gay and bisexual men who have been abstinent for a year.
“We’re expecting approval any day, but we don’t have it now,” she said. “Any man who’s had sex with another man cannot donate until then. Once they approve it, we have to train staff — asking the new questions and new deferrals.”
Osborne said the blood-donating experience provides “a good little health check” through a ten-minute, mini-physical after evaluation of a 53-question survey.
“We check blood pressure, temperature and pulse, then a finger stick to check hemoglobin,” she said. “Every 56 days, you can donate (a pint with each donation).”
Donors are provided refreshments after donating.
“We ask you to stay with us 10-15 minutes and then you’re free to go after we give some instructions, a list of what to do and not do.”
Osborne said people should donate as much as they can, instead of donating only in the event of an emergency.
There is currently a particular need for blood types O- and A+.
“My goal is to make saving a life fun,” said Bay. “Bring your family and kids, celebrate the good you have done and enjoy your time together.”