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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Teammate inspires Lady Bucks basketball team to support blood drive

September 16, 2013

Preseason workouts are a top priority for Motlow Lady Bucks head basketball coach Aaron Holland and his team as they prepare for the start of the 2013-14 season. However, plans changed one afternoon recently when Holland heard that the American Red Cross was on campus conducting a blood drive.

American Red Cross worker Ashley Swift, left, prepares Motlow Lady Bucks player Kaley Rogers, a sophomore from Manchester, to donate blood at a blood drive held recently on the Moore County campus. Rogers and other teammates volunteered to support the cause in honor of teammate Alexis Smith, whose life was saved through a blood transfusion two years ago.
"There is a personal side to this," Holland said. "Giving blood is a special thing for our team to do because one of our teammates was actually saved by a blood donation."

Alexis Smith, a freshman from Huntland, suffered a near-fatal intestinal infection two years ago that caused internal bleeding, and a blood transfusion, she says, saved her life.

"No one knew the cause of it until I had already lost half of my blood," said Smith. "It turns out I was born with Meckel's diverticulum, a disease that affects about two percent of people my age. It's one of those random rare diseases, and I was 'lucky' enough to have it."

The surgery she underwent to remove part of her small intestine required transfusions with two pints of blood. Sharing her personal experience has helped her teammates, most of who had never donated blood before, to realize the importance of participating in blood drives.

"Instead of practicing, we chose to do something better with our time - donate blood and maybe help save a life," Holland added.