TULSA, Okla. ? Tulsa Shock and co-sponsor Delta Dental are partnering with Oklahoma Blood Institute (OBI) to help boost community blood supplies for the Memorial Day holiday weekend. Every blood donor at the May 24 and May 29 Tulsa Shock-sponsored blood drives will receive two free tickets to watch Tulsa Shock take on Indiana Fever, Saturday, May 29 courtesy of Delta Dental.
Anyone who is healthy and 17 or older can donate blood on May 24, from 3 to 8 pm, at ORU Mabee Center. Donors at this blood drive are invited to watch open practice from 4 to 6 pm, and can meet the Tulsa Shock players from 6 to 6:30 pm. Donors also have the opportunity to donate on game day, May 29, at BOK Center from noon to 5 pm.
Donors at both drives are encouraged to join the National Marrow Donor Program Registry known as “Be The Match”. Oklahoma Blood Institute is Oklahoma’s exclusive “Be The Match” national marrow registry coordinator. Each year, more than 10,000 Americans face life-threatening diseases from cancer to leukemia for which the only possible cure is a marrow transplant.
“We are excited to be working with Oklahoma Blood Institute and about our partnership,” said Steve Swetoha, Tulsa Shock president. “We realize the importance of donating blood during this time of the year, and we are happy to help the cause and community of Tulsa.”
“We are thrilled to partner with the Tulsa Shock WNBA team, and appreciate the generous co-sponsorship of Delta Dental in support of these vital community blood drives,” said John Armitage, M.D., Oklahoma Blood Institute president and chief executive officer. “Holiday weekends often lead to a slump in blood donations and this decline can put the lives of people who need blood in jeopardy.”
Because there is no substitute for blood, the supply must constantly be renewed.
Although all blood types are needed, those with O Negative type blood are especially encouraged to donate. According to the American Association of Blood Banks, those with O Negative blood type make up only nine percent of the national population. However, O Negative blood can be used by anyone in an emergency situation when a patient’s blood type has not yet been identified.
Oklahoma Blood Institute is the twelfth largest, non-profit blood center in America. In 2009, more than 198,000 donations provided blood for patients in more than 150 medical facilities in Oklahoma and North Central Texas.