MOUNT LAUREL, N.J.— At age 3, Ben Hopkins was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a disease that causes bone marrow to function improperly and compromises one’s immune system. While waiting for a bone marrow transplant, blood and platelet transfusions helped keep Ben alive.
Today, two years after his bone marrow transplant, Ben is doing well. He enjoys sports, is an avid gamer and will soon enter third grade.
But Ben’s family will never forget the importance of those blood donations, and, ultimately, the bone marrow donation that saved his life. To give back, the Hopkins family will hold its third annual blood drive in honor of “Brave Ben” and also in loving memory of Ben’s sister, his “Sweet Guardian Angel Grace,” on Sunday, Aug. 11, 9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Aloft Hotel, 558 Fellowship Road, Mount Laurel, New Jersey.
To schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-REDCROSS and enter sponsor code BraveBen.
In addition to giving blood, those in attendance will have the opportunity to learn about the National Bone Marrow Registry and how they can get involved.
In thanks, all those who come to donate blood or platelets July 29-Aug. 29 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
Throughout August, presenting donors will also receive a voucher for a free Medium Iced Coffee and a free Classic Donut, redeemable at participating Dunkin’ restaurants in the Greater Philadelphia Region, while supplies last. Vouchers are not redeemable for cash.
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces an emergency need for blood donors to give now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this summer. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. More donations are immediately needed to help replenish the blood supply.
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, 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 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.