PEORIA, Ill. (Jan. 9, 2019) — The pursuit is on for Bradley University and Illinois State University as they compete in the American Red Cross blood donation challenge to help save lives. The rivalry between the schools always deliver winning results for patients in need and this year will be no exception. The American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood and platelet donors of all blood types to make an appointment to give now and help address a winter blood donation shortage.
Starting Jan. 29, many students, student-athletes, faculty, and staff at both universities will be rolling up their sleeves for the annual Challenge on 74 blood donation competition. The school that collects the highest percentage of its three-day goal secures all-important bragging rights for the year. Last year, Bradley won the Challenge collecting 104% of their goal, while ISU finished at 97%.
Bradley University will once again hold their blood drive in memory of Megan Fong, a former tennis player and blood donor. After losing her battle with leukemia, Megan can be proud that her spirit continues to be remembered as Bradley Athletics, the American Red Cross Club and University Greek Life sponsor the blood drive in her memory.
The Illinois State University Red Cross Club has worked with Greek life and they have agreed to offer fraternities and sororities members seven service hours for presenting to donate during the 3-day challenge.
The Red Cross’ We Challenge U program, encourages college students to get involved in the community by organizing blood drives and recruiting friends and faculty to give blood during winter months. Since 2011, the Challenge on 74 has collected numerous pints of blood during the difficult winter months, when blood donations tend to decline.
All presenting donors will receive a commemorative We Challenge U T-shirt, while supplies last.
Illinois State University Challenge on 74 blood drives:
Jan. 29 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Illinois State University Tri-Towers, Shawnee Room
Jan. 30 from 11a.m. to 4 p.m. at Illinois State University Vrooman Center – Escalante Room
Jan. 31 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Bone Student Center – Circus Room
Bradley University Challenge on 74 blood drives:
Jan. 29 from noon to 6 p.m. at Markin Center, 819 N. Glenwood in Peoria, Ill.
Jan. 30 from noon to 6 p.m. at Markin Center, 819 N. Glenwood in Peoria, Ill.
Jan. 31 from noon to 6 p.m. at Markin Center, 819 N. Glenwood in Peoria, Ill.
This blood drive will help the blood supply recover from a donation shortfall over the winter holidays that prompted the Red Cross to issue an emergency call for blood donors to give now. Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and type O blood donors, are needed to prevent a blood shortage from continuing throughout winter and affecting patient care.
“The winter months continue to be one of the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood donations,” said Matt Pitcher, district manager for the Red Cross. “This season is no different as weather has forced blood drives to be cancelled. Additionally, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses. We sincerely appreciate our donors’ commitment to helping save lives year after year.”
Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged 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.
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.