CHARLOTTE, Tenn. (Sept. 28, 2018) — The American Red Cross, Rock Springs Free Will Baptist Church and friends and family are teaming up to host a special blood drive in honor of Emily Grace Rodgers, a resilient four-year-old battling Thalassemia Major or Cooley’s Anemia, a rare blood disorder. The community is invited to take part in this opportunity to help save lives Saturday, Oct. 13, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rock Springs Free Will Baptist Church, 1485 Hamble Road in Charlotte.
When Emily was diagnosed with Cooley’s Anemia at two weeks old, her family learned firsthand how important blood donations could be. The condition causes a life-threatening anemia due to the body’s inability to produce normal red blood cells and a complete lack of beta protein in the iron. Because of this, blood transfusions are regularly required.
“Without the blood transfusions, Emily will not survive,” said Jennifer Rodgers, Emily Grace’s mother. “There is currently no cure [for Cooley’s Anemia] and Emily must receive blood transfusions every three to four weeks.”
Since 2014, the Charlotte community has continued to honor Emily by rolling up a sleeve to give blood for patients in need. To date, the Rock Springs Free Will Baptist Church Blood Drive in Honor of Emily Grace Rodgers has collected over 1,145 pints of lifesaving blood.
“The blood drive in honor of Emily, as do all drives, help to ensure there is blood [available] for her to receive,” said Jennifer. “Will it be your donation that helps save Emily’s life?”
Donors of all blood types are needed to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients this fall. With a shelf life of only 42 days, blood is perishable and can only be replenished by volunteer donors. Blood donated at the blood drive in honor of Emily Grace may help many patients in need, including accident victims, cancer patients and those undergoing surgery.
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.
As a thank-you, those who come to donate blood at the drive will automatically be entered to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants. Learn more at RedCrossBlood.org/GoForGoal.
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 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, from a computer or mobile device. 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.