Kristin Marlow-Kellemen is a Munster resident, a mother, a Red Cross employee and is passionate about charitable causes. In March of this year, Kristin became ill and was eventually diagnosed with COVID-19 on April 8. After several weeks, she fully recovered.
Being a Red Cross employee, Kristin knew of a new initiative through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help treat critically ill COVID-19 patients with plasma transfusions from donors who are fully recovered from the virus. She immediately signed up to help.
“I am a firm believer that we all have a responsibility to serve and support others,” said Kristin. “Everyone has different gifts and abilities and if we all gave to others when we were able, the world would be a better place. My COVID recovery gave me something that not everyone has and I feel it is my responsibility to use it to help others.”
After registering to donate convalescent plasma, just a few days later, she was able to give on July 8. “The process could not have been easier,” said Kristin. “Clicking on the link to fill out the convalescent plasma donation form is the first step. Once I received an email from the Red Cross with directions on how to schedule my appointment, I followed the simple instructions and was able to make my first donation the following week. I am grateful for the opportunity to do something positive at a time when there are so many difficulties,” she said.
In coordination with the FDA, the Red Cross is seeking people who are fully recovered from the new coronavirus to sign up to donate plasma to help current COVID-19 patients. People who have fully recovered from COVID-19 have antibodies in their plasma that can attack the virus. This convalescent plasma is being evaluated as treatment for patients with serious or immediately life-threatening COVID-19 infections, or those judged by a healthcare provider to be at high risk of progression to severe or life-threatening disease.
To participate, individuals must meet all regular blood donation requirements as well as others. To learn more and complete a donor request form, please visit www.RedCrossBlood.org/plasma4covid.
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.