MORTON, Ill. Bonnie Litwiller, longtime Community United Church of Christ member, passed away in 2012 from myelofibrosis, a rare bone marrow cancer. She received many transfusions of blood products during treatment.
To remember Litwiller and help others in need of blood, the church will host the fifth annual American Red Cross Bonnie Litwiller Memorial Blood Drive Oct. 24, 1-6 p.m., at the Community United Church of Christ, 300 N. Main St.
“We’re happy to be working with the Red Cross again this year to remember our friend, and to remind church members and the community how important it is to donate blood for patients like Bonnie,” said Dianne Elliott, blood drive committee chairperson. “I think she would be thrilled to know that this blood drive has collected more than 150 donations over the past four years.”
More than 1.6 million new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, according to the American Cancer Society. Like Litwiller, many cancer patients need blood products during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.
The Red Cross must collect about 14,000 blood donations every day to help patients, and volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those needing transfusions. Donors of all blood types are needed.
To schedule an appointment for the blood drive in memory of Bonnie Litwiller, simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
How to donate blood
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.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, 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.