Oklahoma Casinos Host Blood Drives Through Holiday Weekend

Sunday, May 20th 2012, 10:04 pm
By: News On 6

Whether it's a victim in an accident, a cancer patient or a premature baby, the need for blood in Oklahoma is significant, especially with the upcoming Memorial Day weekend ahead.

But six casinos in the state are trying to beat the odds of a low blood supply this week, to help save a life.

Tyler Ryan knows that need all too well. In fact, he never knew the significance of giving blood, until the day he needed it.

"On November 9, I pulled over to help someone change a tire," said Tyler Ryan, a blood recipient.

12/12/2011 Related Story: OKC Good Samaritan Injured, But Spirit Not Broken

As Ryan was helping the man, another driver who wasn't paying attention slammed into him. The accident crushed Tyler's back and legs. He also lost more than half of the blood in his body.

"I got 29 different people's blood, that's saying a lot," Ryan said. "I can't thank those people enough."

Tyler lost his leg in the accident, but continues his recovery with physical therapy and now the use of a prosthetic leg. He has even returned to work at Remington Park, on a part-time basis.

Remington Park, along with six other casinos in the state will host blood drives this week, to help with the need during the holiday weekend.

"To serve the hospitals in the Oklahoma City area and some 140 others across the state, we need an average of 700 donors a day," said Leslie Gamble, Oklahoma Blood Institute. "It's obvious how a one-day closure and declines in donation on surrounding days makes this a steep challenge."

Together the casinos are hoping to get at least 500 donors.

"The Memorial Day holiday is always challenging with major declines in donation and one day with zero donors," said Gamble.

"Without success in the casinos' goal of having 500 total donors, Oklahoma Blood Institute is likely to reach a blood shortage for those in Oklahoma hospitals in the coming weeks."

And as for Ryan, he's now a believer in that need.

"I will definitely become a blood donor when I can," he said.

Each donor with the Oklahoma Blood Institute will receive a voucher for 10 dollars in casino play after giving.

Blood Drives:

  • Choctaw Casino, McAlester: May 25, 11 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
  • Riverwind, Norman: May 23, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Lucky Star, Concho: May 24, Noon to 5 p.m.
  • Thunderbird, Norman: May 24, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Sugar Creek, Hinton: May 25, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Remington Park, Oklahoma City: May 25, Noon to 5 p.m.
  • Newcastle Gaming Center: may 26, Noon to 4:30 p.m.