Be An Everday Hero - Give Blood During March
By WestKyStar Staff
PADUCAH, KY - Blood donors are Everyday Heroes who help save lives. During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross recognizes these lifesavers, thanks them for their generosity and encourages others to join their ranks.
“Red Cross Month is an ideal time for people to show support for our mission,” said Tim Ryerson, CEO of the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region. “Anyone can become an Everyday Hero by giving blood or platelets, becoming a volunteer, making a financial donation or taking a class.”
March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since that time, every president, including President Barack Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The organization has been helping people for more than 130 years.
The need for blood is constant. From cancer patients and accident victims to premature babies and those with blood disorders, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.
The blood and platelets we collect help those living in your community, as well as those who have traveled for advanced treatment, or perhaps even our friends and family living far away. Last year, thousands of units of blood and platelets were donated through the Tennessee Valley Blood Services Region.  At the American Red Cross, we strive to provide a reliable, steady blood supply whenever and wherever it is needed.
Colby Chance Hitchcock knows first-hand that blood donors are Everyday Heroes. Before Colby was born, doctors told his mother Becca that her baby boy had a congenital heart defect called Tricuspid Atresia.
“Our emotions had quickly turned from what will his name be to will he survive the remainder of the pregnancy,” said Colby’s mother, Becca Hitchcock.
Tricuspid Atresia is a condition in which the tricuspid valve never develops, so no blood can flow from the right atrium to the right ventricle. As a result, the right ventricle is small and not fully developed.[1]
On Aug. 4, 2008, Colby was born.  He spent 11 days inside the neonatal intensive care unit at Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, where his heart and lungs were closely monitored.
“This hospital stay was our first exposure to the value of the American Red Cross blood supply.  During his stay, Colby required some blood products to stabilize him,” said Hitchcock.
By October, Colby required surgery to place a shunt in his heart.  The shunt was necessary to increase blood flow to his lungs.
“Fortunately for Colby, the necessary blood was there when he needed it.  The American Red Cross and the blood that they supply became a reality for our family.  Since that first surgery, we have committed to giving back to the organization that has given us so much," said Hitchcock.
In August of 2009, he underwent a Bilateral Bidirectional Glenn Operation. And in March 2011, Colby fought through another surgery called the Fontan palliation. The Fontan palliation is the final planned surgery in the repair of a single ventricle-type of heart defect.[2]
"Colby has done so well through all of his surgeries and procedures, and we have nothing but high hopes for his future,” said Becca Hitchcock.
Today, Colby is four and a half years old and attending Pre-Kindergarten, which he loves.
You can help the Red Cross save lives and celebrate Red Cross Month by donating blood on one of the following dates:

McCracken County, KY

3/3/13 - 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM at St. John's Catholic Church,  6705 Old Highway 45

3/4/13 - 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM at First Christian Church, 415 Audubon Drive
3/6/13 - 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Lourdes Hospital, 1530 Lone Oak Road

3/10/13 - 1:00 PM to 5:00 PM at Mt. Zion Baptist Church, 9701 Blandville Road

3/19/13 - 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM at Wal-Mart, 5130 Hinkleville Road

3/20/13 - 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM at Wal-Mart, 5130 Hinkleville Road

3/22/13 - 7:00 AM to 1:00 PM at Baptist Health Paducah, 2501 Kentucky Avenue
In addition, the Paducah Blood Donor Center at 4635 Falconcrest Drive has the following schedule for appointments:
•Monday - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
•Tuesday - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
•Wednesday - Closed
•2nd, 3rd Thursday of month - 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
•Friday - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
•Saturday - 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
•1st, 4th, 5th Sunday of month - 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

The Paducah Apheresis (Platelet Donation) Center at 4635 Falconcrest Drive has the following schedule:
•Monday - 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
•Tuesday - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
•Wednesday, Thursday - Closed
•Friday - 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
•Saturday - 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
•1st, 4th, 5th Sunday of month - 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

For blood donation opportunities near you, please visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Published 11:02 AM, Tuesday Feb. 19, 2013
Updated 11:13 AM, Tuesday Feb. 19, 2013

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