HOOPPOLE, Ill. — The community is invited to give blood in memory of Zaion Huber at a special American Red Cross blood drive Thursday, June 25 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Hooppole City Office, 1404 Washington St., in Hooppole.
Zaion was diagnosed with hemolytic disease, also known as anti-kell. It is one of the most common causes of abnormal blood diseases of newborns. Anti-kell is a condition in which the antibodies in a pregnant woman's blood cross the placenta and destroy the baby's red blood cells, resulting in severe anemia to the baby.
Matt Huber, Zaion’s father, has the kell antigen and Jill Huber, Zaion’s mother, developed kell antibodies during her pregnancies. Their first two babies were unaffected by this condition. However, the Huber’s third son, needed two intrauterine transfusions, was born at 34 weeks and needed two post-birth transfusions. Zaion, Huber’s fourth son, required five intrauterine transfusions and was born at 30 weeks. Zaion lived for 26 hours and 26 minutes before he passed.
“We want people to know that because of Zaion, we have learned so much about kell and how to treat affected pregnancies,” said Jill. “Everyone needs to live life to its fullest every day. Nobody knows how many days or hours you have left here on this earth. Everyone has the opportunity to donate blood and give life for others!”
Jill and Matt know how priceless blood products can be for babies before and after they are born. The family hopes that the community comes out to donate blood.
“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Gwen Bartoluzzi, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We take for granted that blood will be at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors. Giving blood in Zaion’s name is a wonderful way to remember this sweet boy and potentially help others with this condition.”
This drive comes as the Red Cross has an urgent need for blood donations to prevent another blood shortage as hospitals resume surgical procedures and patient treatments that were temporarily paused earlier this spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to Amazon, all those who come to give June 1-30 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. Restrictions apply. Additional information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
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 Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 and platelet donors can 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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.