MADISON, Wis. (Nov. 30, 2021) — The American Red Cross’ 2021 holiday message – “Give With Meaning” – resonates with the sentiments that Tracy Rose from Madison celebrates each day.
The 36th annual Madison Holiday Blood Drive provides an opportunity for eligible donors to give blood Dec. 23, from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Exhibition Hall in the Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way. Appointments are encouraged. Walk-ins are welcomed as space allows.
Four years ago during the holidays, Rose experienced pregnancy complications with her second child. She was diagnosed with placenta previa which threatened both her and her baby’s life. In order for both of them to survive she required a blood transfusion.
Ten hours and two pints of blood later, Rose and her baby’s condition significantly improved. Several weeks later, Rose went on to deliver a healthy baby girl, that they named Maya.
“I was very hesitant at first (to receive blood) as I have always been a person to donate blood, not get blood,” said Rose. “Without this blood transfusion, I would have perished, and my baby’s life would have been compromised, too. When the final drops were in, I remember taking a deep sigh of relief. I cannot thank donors across the world more for this gift of life.”
Currently, Rose is not eligible to donate blood. However, she encourages others to “Give With Meaning” by coordinating Red Cross blood drives twice a year at Millapore Sigma, where she is employed.
“I am so glad the Red Cross is here for people in times of need,” said Rose. “Thank you for saving my life, my baby’s life, and my family’s life.”
The 36th annual Holiday Blood Drive is the largest one-day blood drive in the Wisconsin Region, with more than 600 community members rolling up a sleeve to help save lives each year.
The Red Cross is thanking those who come to give Dec. 23, 2021 at the Madison Holiday Blood Drive with an exclusive long-sleeved T-shirt, while supplies last. Donors will also be treated to special snacks and refreshments. Free parking will be available.
“We would never be able to host such a successful drive without the incredible support of the community,” said Kyle Kriegl, Executive Director for the Southwest Wisconsin Chapter of the American Red Cross. “Year after year, the community steps up to the call for blood donations which go toward helping to save lives. We are grateful for those who respond to the constant need for blood donations at such a critical time of the year.”
Special thanks go out to our sponsors WKOW 27 News, Audacy Madison – 105.5 Triple M, 94.9 WOLX, Mix 105.1 and Krupp General Contractors for helping to sponsor the blood drive.
With more individuals receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination booster, in most cases, vaccinated individuals can donate blood. Knowing the name of the manufacturer of the vaccine received is important in determining blood donation eligibility.
Make an appointment to give blood by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Blood drive safety
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including face masks for donors and staff, regardless of vaccination status – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive.
Save time during donation
Donors can also save up to 15 minutes at the blood drive by completing a RapidPass®. With RapidPass®, donors complete the pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of donation, from a mobile device or computer. To complete a RapidPass®, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App. To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification that are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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 must meet certain height and weight requirements.
Health insights for donors
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease who require trait-negative blood. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, 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 deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.