MILWAUKEE, Wis. (June 18, 2019) — To help make sure patients like MaKenzie Schienebeck continue to receive the blood products they need the American Red Cross invites eligible donors to roll up a sleeve during the 14th annual Milwaukee County Zoo Blood Drive Monday, June 24 and Tuesday, June 25 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the zoo’s Peck Center,10001 W. Bluemound Road, in Milwaukee.
September 28, 2018, is a day that the Schienebeck family will never forget. The day was MaKenzie’s birthday but also the day she fought for her life due to complications from pregnancy. MaKenzie woke up early that morning and found herself losing blood extremely fast. Because of losing so much blood, MaKenzie was in and out of consciousness, taken to the hospital and felt her life slipping away.
MaKenzie was given blood transfusions on the way to the hospital, during emergency surgery and after surgery. All the blood transfusions she received contributed to saving her life. It has taken months for her to heal physically and emotionally, but she can tell you this, “I would not be alive today if it was not for the American Red Cross and the gracious donors who gave their blood,” said MaKenzie Schienebeck.
When MaKenzie was asked about her experience she replied, “I am thankful every single day for you all. I truly believe we all have a reason and role to play in life. Certainly, many would think my story is fearful with the facts of nearly dying, except I now see it as a gift. I am active in the roll of speaking out and urging others to donate. It is not just sitting in a chair giving away blood. That blood is the key to someone’s life. I never thought in a million years I would be speaking out about blood donations due to them SAVING my life. I am taking power in my near- death fight, using it to save others and make the World aware of how important donating is.”
Blood donations often decline during the summer months when donors are vacationing and schools are out of session. The Milwaukee Zoo Blood Drive is a great place to make a real difference in the lives of people in the Milwaukee area. All presenting donors will receive a free lunch from Walt’s Sandwich Place, a Wisconsin State Fair ticket, free same-day zoo admission, free parking, and free childcare, while supplies last.
Over 1,400 lifesaving donations have been collected since this drive’s inception. With over 300 lifesaving donations expected to be collected June 24 and 25, 2019.
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross is urging individuals to help ensure blood is never missing from hospital shelves by donating blood or platelets through the Missing Types campaign. Despite blood’s lifesaving role, only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood each year. The goal of Missing Types is to inspire new and current blood donors to give this summer and help fill the missing types.
“Many people don’t understand the importance of having blood on the shelves, especially when the unexpected happens,” said Laura McGuire, external communications for the Red Cross Badger Hawkeye Blood Services Region. “You just never know when you or a loved one will be the one in need. I encourage anyone who is able to donate to take an hour out of their day and give back.”
Donated blood may be used to help accident victims, surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. There is no substitute for donated blood products. Each day, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,500 hospitals across the country.
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. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCossBlood.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 cruzrojamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.