The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the American Red Cross to collect enough blood donations. Many donors are busy with holiday activities, and inclement weather can force the cancellation of blood drives. Additionally, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses.
Regardless of seasonal challenges patients like Jeri Davis need blood. One Sunday morning Jeri woke up vomiting blood. During an emergency room visit, she learned she had an esophagus tear requiring surgery and four pints of blood. Jeri appreciates those who take the time out of their lives to help a patient in need. “Many healthy people are walking around with the power to help save a life,” said Jeri. “If you can donate, please don’t hesitate.”
To help make sure patients like Jeri receive the blood products they need this winter, the Red Cross is partnering with WMBD 31, WYZZ and Fox 43 to host the 13th annual 12 Hours of Giving Blood Drive on Dec. 22 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at the Par-A-Dice Hotel, 21 Blackjack Blvd. in East Peoria. Those who come to donate will receive a free Red Cross long-sleeved T-shirt, enjoy local musicians and be entered to win an hourly raffle item, while supplies last. Childcare provided.
Blood donors of all types are needed. 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. 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.
Those who wish to register to be a bone marrow donor can so at this blood drive with no cost through a simple cheek swab by DKMS. Participants can then be added to the national Be The Match Registry®, where doctors can search to find a matching donor for their patient.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code “12HoursOfGiving”, 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 donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. 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.