Red Cross blood drive to honor organ transplant recipient Brandon Riddle
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — On Jan. 4, Brandon Riddle and his family will recognize the blood and organ donors who have helped save his life. The American Red Cross and Ozarks Area Racers are partnering for the third annual blood drive in his honor.
On Thanksgiving Day 1984, Brandon was diagnosed with biliary atresia. He was just five days old. According to the American Liver Foundation, the condition causes infants’ bile ducts to become obstructed, and the digestive fluid is blocked in the liver. The trapped liquid begins to rapidly destroy liver cells.
Brandon faced major surgery just weeks after birth. In the 29 years since, he’s received three liver transplants and, just recently, a kidney transplant the day before Thanksgiving 2013. Throughout his treatments and operations, Brandon has received more than 500 pints of blood products.
“We consider this a way to give back to help others who might need blood,” said Regina Riddle, Brandon’s mother. “You know, Brandon has required so many blood products to help him. We want to do our part to give some of that back.”
Despite the challenges he has faced, Brandon’s family describes him as perhaps the happiest and healthiest he has ever been. Now that he has received his kidney transplant, Brandon is looking forward to marrying his fiancé in the near future. He will celebrate the second anniversary of his third liver transplant the day after the 27th Annual Ozarks Area Racers Reunion, which is also the day of the blood drive.
“Brandon’s story is a reminder that donors help real people by giving blood,” said Marci Manley, spokesperson for the Red Cross Greater Ozarks-Arkansas Blood Services Region. “Blood donors help give patients like Brandon a chance to make those memories many of us can take for granted. One hour and one donation can play a role in giving a lifetime of stories to someone else.”
Third Annual Blood Drive in Honor of Brandon Riddle:
Jan. 4 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, 4014 N. FR 151, Springfield, Mo.
Donors of all blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative, B negative and AB positive or negative. Someone in the U.S. needs blood about every 2 seconds. One blood donation could help save up to three lives.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.