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More than a decade ago, Judith Valade was a new employee at Big Sandy Community and Technical College (BSCTC). As a way to immerse herself into campus life, she responded to an advertisement to give blood.

It has been a gift that has saved well over 100 lives. And it is a gift that Valade plans to keep on giving for years to come.

It such a great feeling to know you are giving the gift of life, said Valade, an associate professor at BSCTC. On Thursday, February 6, she was recognized by the Kentucky Blood Center for hitting a milestone, donating 24 units, or three gallons, of blood. I know that my donation is making a difference.

April Gillispie, a phlebotomist with the Kentucky Blood Center, said approximately five percent of the population donates blood, while 75 percent of people will need blood in their lifetime. Long-term donors like Valade are saving lives.

Blood cannot be manufactured, said Gillispie. We count on donors and are thankful for donors like Judith who have donated regularly over the years.

Big Sandy Community and Technical College has had a longstanding partnership with the Kentucky Blood Center. Valade has donated on the Prestonsburg campus all but one semester during her 11 years at the college.

One of Valades most memorable moments came several years ago when she called the blood center to make an appointment. They told me that my last donation went to a girl in Maysville, she recalled. That put everything into perspective.

For every unit of blood donated, it can save the lives of three adults or six children. Valade was emotional when she learned of the number of lives she had touched.

I would have never imagined that, she said. Its an incentive for me to give more and encourage others to do so.

For more information on the Kentucky Blood Center, call 1-800-775-2522 or visit