LEXINGTON, Ky. – Rachel Rowley, a longtime platelet donor with Kentucky Blood Center, is the lucky winner of the second of two cars Kentucky Blood gave away in its Summer Double Feature promotion. Rowley was presented with her prize, a 2021 Toyota Camry, at KBC’s Middletown donor center Thursday.
“We are excited to present this fantastic prize to Rachel,” said Bill Reed, President and CEO. “Rachel’s loyalty as a donor is to be commended and we’re happy to see her drive away with this great made-in-Kentucky Toyota.”
Rowley began donating with KBC in 2014 and became a platelet donor later that year. Platelets are a special blood component which aid in the clotting process, acting like a bandage in the body to help prevent and stop bleeding. Platelets are used for patients with leukemia and other cancers, accident victims and transplant recipients. Platelets have a very short shelf life – just 7 days from the day of donation – so platelet donors are counted on to make regular donations.
Rowley was understandably surprised when she received the call from KBC.
“(I was thinking) That if this were a scam call, it was a really good one,” said Rowley. “As the conversation continued, I started to believe, and my first reaction was ‘Seriously?!?!,’ followed by pure elation and surreal wonderment.”
Rowley says her motivation to donate is simple.
“It’s an easy way to give back to the community and helps me feel like I am doing a little bit of good in the world,” Rowley said. “I can make a meaningful impact without costing myself more than a little time.
“Lately what has further encouraged me is that I have a coworker whose sone has been battling leukemia for the past three years. Right now, that little six-year-old boy needs platelets nearly every day. I can add my contribution to the supply. I like that donations (stay) local!”
Summer is a difficult time for blood centers typically, and the enduring COVID-19 pandemic and a nationwide blood shortage made summer donations even more important this year. That’s why KBC decided to give away not one, but two, Toyota vehicles. The first entry period began May 24 and ran through July 4. All donors age 18 and older at time of donation were entered to win a 2021 Toyota C-HR. The first drawing consisted of more than 9,500 entries and Jeremy Tuel, a Somerset donor drove home with the prize.