Celebrating Heroes: Miss Kitty doesn't consider herself a hero despite blood drive success

October 10, 2018
Miss Kitty
Miss Kitty
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She describes a hero as "someone who gives of themselves unselfishly and unreservedly".

But even as her latest mission sees her going the extra mile in the bid to save lives, media personality Khadine 'Miss Kitty' Hylton doesn't classify herself as a hero.

The woman who has been organising and executing a national blood drive at Nelson Mandela Park in Half-Way Tree for the last two years says being a hero was never on her mind when she started the charity initiative; she simply saw the need to help and acted on it.

"I did a Nationwide broadcast, and when I got a tour of the facility (Blood Bank), the refrigerator in which they said the blood was kept, as far as I was concerned, looked empty," she said. "I didn't think about being a hero, I just knew that I saw a problem - an issue that could affect me, babies, mothers, each and every person, whether you're a Jamaican or not - and I needed to help."

The most recent installation of the blood drive was held in July. Miss Kitty aimed to collect 200 bags of blood, and although she did not meet that target, she collected more bags of the precious commodity this year than last year.

"The support was great ... . We grew because we collected 151 bags of blood. I wanted 200; that was the aim. We didn't get there, but we collected more than we did the year before ... and for that I was very grateful," she said, pointing out that her initiative goes beyond simply giving blood.

 

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"My blood drive also aims to remove the negative stigma and any misconception that is associated with blood donation. I really think that if people understood the process and realised that it is not as difficult or scary as they think, they would be less apprehensive and less afraid to donate, and so I designed it in a way to remove the 'fear' out of blood donation and make it into a 'fair'."

Miss Kitty explained that every Jamaican has it in him or her to effect change. She expressed that if regular citizens would take the initiative to help their own communities, their own environments, the country could see far more progress.

"We can't wait on private sector or the Government all the time, and so we must think about what we can do in our own little way to alleviate some of the problems," she said.

"I didn't know what the turnout was going to be, but I decided to use my platform, with which I've been blessed, to make my voice heard. I rounded up my team and we got to it and it has grown from strength to strength. If people see it (the Miss Kitty Blood Drive) as heroic, I'm very grateful. My intention was to do what I could to help, because when I think about a mother or a father on whom their children rely, a breadwinner dying because there was no blood, I could not sit down and just watch that happen."

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