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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Jordana Reyes bled orange and blue at the Fall blood drive.

The 19-year-old applied physiology and kinesiology sophomore was one of 300 Gator fans who wanted to donate to a blood drive and also support the football team.

The “What Colors Do You Bleed?” blood drive is an annual competition between UF’s LifeSouth Community Blood Centers and the University of Tennessee’s Medic Regional Blood Center, where both schools see who can receive the most donations. The 11-year-old drive will take place from Sept. 11 to Sept. 15, the week before the Gators football team plays against the Volunteers in Gainesville.

“This is the first time in years that the competition will take place right before the game,” said LifeSouth North Florida community development coordinator Laura Bialeck.

Students will be able to donate blood at the various “bloodmobiles” set up on campus on Turlington Plaza and at the Hub, Little Hall and Sorority Row. They can also go to the two LifeSouth centers located at 1221 NW 13th St. and 4039 W Newberry Road.

“I liked how I could do it on campus,” Reyes said. “Seeing how readily available and convenient the process was influenced my decision a lot.”

Florida has only won the blood drive once in 2008. Last year, UF saw around 300 donors compared to UT’s 1,500.

The blood donated in Gainesville will be sent to all the hospitals in the Gainesville area, and every donation is about a pint in size.

“You can save three lives with one donation,” Bialeck said.

Those who donate will receive an orange T-shirt with the competition’s graphic and text that says “What Colors Do You Bleed?”

Last year was Reyes’ first time giving blood with LifeSouth and despite a bit of uncertainty going in, she came out feeling relaxed.

“I was scared at first, but the people who worked with me made me feel safe and comfortable,” Reyes said.

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