Monday, October 23, 2017

[135] MTSU supporters can prep now to ‘Bleed Blue, Beat WKU,’ save lives Nov. 13-15

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. MTSU supporters can save lives, save time and show their True Blue colors by making an appointment today to donate blood Nov. 13-15 in the seventh annual blood drive competition with Conference USA rival Western Kentucky University.

Donors can schedule an appointment from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day inside MTSU’s Campus Recreation Center by visiting and typing in “MTSUChallenge” or using the “American Red Cross Blood” app, available at Walk-in donors will be welcome, but those with appointments will be processed first and finish their donations faster.

On donation day, donors can save even more time by completing the “Rapid Pass” online health questionnaire at

MTSU supporters are four-time champs in the “Bleed Blue, Beat WKU” challenge, helping to collect more than 6,800 total pints of blood with WKU since 2010. Because each unit of blood can aid three different patients, the six-year competition has helped more than 20,500 people across Tennessee and parts of Kentucky, Illinois and Missouri.

"Giving life, that's what it is all about," says Diane Turnham, MTSU’s senior associate director of athletics and a longtime donor and organizer for the annual community blood drive.

"While it’s always great to compete against Western on the football field, it is also very rewarding to help others in our own community. Each donation can save up to three lives."

The drive is open to all MTSU students, faculty, staff and alumni as well as all MTSU neighbors and supporters across Murfreesboro, Rutherford County and the Midstate.

Sean Armstrong, business development manager for donor resource development at the American Red Cross’s Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region headquarters in Nashville, is urging MTSU donors to begin prepping for their appointments now by cutting back on caffeine, eating iron-rich foods and getting extra rest.

“We want to make this a positive experience for everyone, so our donors should make sure that they drink plenty of fluids and eat the right foods. They should make sure that they do not donate on an empty stomach,” Armstrong says. He adds that donors can visit the Red Cross website at for more suggestions.

MTSU donors will have free reserved parking at the Rec Center Nov. 13-15, and each will receive a T-shirt while supplies last. For directions to the Rec Center, visit

Campus volunteers also are needed to help the three-day blood drive run smoothly. Students, faculty and staff who’d like to volunteer can contact Ray Wiley, associate director of campus recreation, at for more information.

For updates and more information about the blood drive, visit and follow @MTSUNews on Twitter with the hashtags #BleedBlueMTSU and #BleedBlueBeatWKU.

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