OWENSVILLE, Mo. (April 28, 2020) — The American Red Cross is once again teaming up for a fourth consecutive year to host a blood drive in honor of Karen Waters Thursday, May 14, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Immaculate Conception Church, 404 S. First St., Owensville. Since 2017, 274 units have been collected during the previous three drives in her honor.
In April 2016, Karen Waters was diagnosed with a very rare condition called Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome (HUS), which results in destruction of red blood cells. On average, only three out of every one million people are diagnosed with this each year. During Karen’s lengthy hospitalization, she underwent a complete plasma exchange, as well as several red blood cell transfusions. In total, Karen received 147 blood products.
In 2018, Karen was diagnosed with Waldenstrom Cancer, a type of blood cancer. While she is still receiving treatment, Karen and her family humbly request that you help them “pay it forward” by being a blood donor. By donating blood, you are choosing to save a life!
“We have had three very successful blood drives and I hope we can continue it this year,” said Karen. “This blood drive is the only way I could truly thank those who helped save my life. In this current situation it is even more important than ever to have blood readily available and to keep the blood supply stable.”
This drive comes as the Red Cross encourages healthy individuals to schedule and keep blood donation appointments in the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply for patients throughout this coronavirus pandemic. All donors are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of the community. As experts have emphasized, there is no certain end date in this fight against coronavirus, and the Red Cross needs the help of blood donors to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of Red Cross donors, employees and volunteers.
Donors of all blood types are needed. Those with types O, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to make a Power Red donation at this blood drive. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect nearly 13,000 blood and more than 2,600 platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 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 have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online or from a mobile device, on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.