Join the American Red Cross, Milwaukee Radio Alliance and the Milwaukee Zoo as they partner together for the 15th annual Milwaukee County Zoo Blood Drive Monday, June 29 through Wednesday, July 1 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the zoo’s Peck Center,10001 W. Bluemound Road, in Milwaukee. Appointments are strongly encouraged to abide with social distancing guidelines.
All presenting donors will receive free same-day zoo admission, parking, and a bag with great gifts from our sponsors, while supplies last.*
In August 2019, Carri and Jason Halstead were blessed with a beautiful baby boy. Shortly after birth, Nathan was diagnosed with severe neonatal anemia, a medical condition where the body’s red blood cells break down too quickly, doesn't create enough red blood cells or the body loses too much blood. With this condition, Nathan, just over 24-hours-old, required his first blood transfusion where he spent four days in the NICU before going home.
Nathan’s bloodwork was monitored frequently and continued to trend downward, but the doctors preferred to allow his body to correct itself instead of making Nathan transfusion-dependent for life. It was hoped his body would stop destroying the red blood cells and would eliminate the anemia.
At nearly six weeks old, when Nathan’s parents discovered blood in his diaper, he was brought back to the hospital and received his second blood transfusion. Within time and as the doctors hoped, Nathan’s bloodwork started to correct itself. Nathan is now a happy and healthy nine-month old baby. “We are so grateful for blood donations because, without blood donors, it is very likely that we would not have our sweet Baby Nathan with us today,” said Nathan’s parents.
“No parent should ever have to fear for their baby’s life, but the sad reality is that this very fear occurs all too often, said Carri, Nathan’s mother. “Though we didn’t have answers, we trusted that a blood transfusion would help our little guy and the doctors were right – a blood donor saved our innocent, sweet baby on two occasions. I am eternally grateful and, once Nathan is old enough to understand, I will make sure that he knows his story, so he too, can be just as grateful as his family.”
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.
Blood donors of all types are needed. There is no substitute for donated blood products.
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.
A special thanks goes out to our sponsors at the Milwaukee Radio Alliance, Milwaukee County Zoo, Robert Haack Diamonds, Prairie Farms, Rosen Nissan, Hennes Services, US Cellular, Hassleless Mattress, Cedar Crest Ice Cream, Building Advantage, Buddy Squirrel, Angelic Bakehouse, Gruber Law Offices, Supernola, Gorilly Goods, and Glass Shower Door Company.
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.