Give blood, register as an organ donor in honor of Dennis Fish
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - On April 19, community members in the Cedar Rapids area are invited to donate blood in honor of local resident Dennis Fish. Fish, a senior account manager at Enterprise Computers, is on a waiting list to undergo lung transplant surgery and will likely require multiple blood transfusions. Attendees are also encouraged to register as an organ donor through the Iowa Donor Registry.
“My dad will be able to spend more time with his six children and 13 grandchildren because someone chose to donate blood or signed up to be an organ donor,” said Nitasha Joyner, Fish’s daughter who also serves as a cardiac perfusionist through the University of Minnesota Physicians. “I work in the operating room during open heart surgeries and lung and liver transplants. I see the need for blood first-hand. As volunteer donors, we have the ability to give patients a second chance at life.”
“Every day, I work with people across eastern Iowa to organize blood drives in the community, but I never thought I’d be coordinating a blood drive in honor of my father,” said Fish’s daughter, Danielle Grabe who is also a donor recruitment representative with the Red Cross. “Our mission is to help save lives, and with the generosity of donors, we can do just that.”
Last summer, Fish was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, a disease where healthy lung tissue is replaced with fibrosis scar tissue. Currently, he has less than 25 percent healthy lung tissue remaining, which makes breathing extremely difficult. Fish requires high levels of oxygen to perform simple daily tasks, and he is no longer able to partake in some of his favorite activities, such as golfing and playing with his grandchildren. The only treatment option is a lung transplant.
Donations collected at the blood drives in honor of Fish may be used for trauma victims – due to accidents and burns – heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, premature babies, patients with complications during childbirth, and for patients receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or other diseases, such as sickle cell disease. All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply.
How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.