Blake Lynch is a young man on a mission — make that several missions — and he doesn’t have plans to stop any time soon.
“I’m super busy,” he pointed out in a phone interview. “I’m lucky to have lots of support and love from my husband.”
While still in nursing school at the University of Central Florida, the Orlando native realized, as a gay man, he was prohibited from donating blood for a friend suffering from sickle cell anemia. He was determined to make a change and founded Banned4Life in 2013, a campaign powered by social media, and after two years of dogged advocacy successfully pushed the Food and Drug Administration to end the ban.
Then Lynch launched Nursecon, a robust online community and continuing education app that has grown to more than 50,000 members. His fellow nurses can enjoy his videos and complete their training requirements for free and on their own schedules. Lynch will even helm a Nursecon cruise next year. “A little team” is required to keep that growing business sailing smoothly.
He is a popular YouTube star with more than 2.4 million views and now a podcaster (husband Donnelly has a great radio voice, “That’s why I let him on the podcasts.”) with tens of thousands more fans, not to mention the scores of social media followers, all eager to enjoy his humorous takes on their demanding and stressful profession. And somehow, Lynch managed to work night shifts in the trauma ward until making the difficult decision to devote his energy full time to these enterprises.
“Nurses don’t receive a lot of support from our hospitals and administrations. We’re short-staffed, short on supplies, and need to laugh through this time and support one another,” Lynch explained. “No matter whether you work in U.S., Philippines, Australia or Canada, we can laugh together.”
This fall, Lynch embarked on a 34-city tour that will bring him to Fort Lauderdale’s Broward Center on Sept. 25.
“Audiences can expect to see me live, instead of on social media, [with] a mix of standup, videos that people have never seen before and skits,” he said of the 90-minute act.
“Most of my audiences are nurses and nursing students, but we have others and I make sure to break things down so they can understand, too.”
Most importantly, he aims to remind these hometown heroes that they’re not alone — especially in the pandemic era.
“They’re lifesavers and there are better days ahead,” he promised.
Lynch is also using the tour to promote an advanced study conducted by OneBlood, the nationwide network of blood banks. The organization is seeking 150 gay males to participate in the study. Lynch and his husband are already signed up and committed to spreading the word within the LGBT community.
What does Lynch do when he’s not filming videos, recording podcasts, composing social media posts, managing his online community or touring the country?
“I don’t have any downtime, but I love to sleep, I love to nap,” he admitted. “That’s definitely a nursing trait.”
Nurse Blake “The PTO Tour” will be presented at the Amaturo Theater at the Broward Center in Fort Lauderdale at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 25. Tickets start at $34.50 at BrowardCenter.org.