NewsMissoula County


Annual "Griz vs Cats Blood Challenge" comes during national shortage

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Posted at 11:11 AM, Nov 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-08 17:45:57-05

MISSOULA — The American Red Cross is putting on its annual blood challenge as the anticipation is building in Montana for the Brawl of the Wild on Nov. 20. This challenge couldn’t come sooner as blood supply is at an ultimate low.

The Red Cross is so low on blood that they need to collect about 10,000 additional units every week this month, to come out of the nationwide shortage.

“We're really excited about this upcoming Cat-Griz blood battle that we're having," said American Red Cross Montana and Idaho regional communications director Matt Ochsner.

Historically the Griz have lost this blood challenge to the Cats, but there are multiple opportunities coming up to donate.

"It's just a great opportunity really to you know reach out to our university partners and all those students bring in maybe some first-time donors who have never really been asked to donate before and ever really thought about it," said Ochsner.

The next Griz vs Cat event is on Wednesday at 10 a.m. at the Western Montana Fairgrounds. Donating blood takes about an hour from start to finish. The Red Cross asks that you make an appointment before donating.

"Hopefully bring some new faces through the door and turn some first-time donors into longtime donors for us," Ochsner told MTN News. "This is about the 20th year that we've done this, and I think in the last 10 years alone, we brought in more than 1700 units of life-saving blood so it's just a great opportunity.”