The pursuit is on for Illinois State University and Bradley University as they compete in the American Red Cross blood donation challenge to help save lives. The rivalry between the schools has historically created a friendly competition, but the outcome is sure to deliver a winning result for patients – obtaining blood products to help meet the critical need for blood and platelets during the winter months.
Starting Jan. 24, many students, student-athletes, faculty, and staff at the universities will be rolling up their sleeves for the annual Challenge on 74 blood donation competition. The school that collects the highest percentage of its three-day goal secures all-important bragging rights for the year.
The Red Cross’ We Challenge U program, encourages college students to get involved in the community by organizing blood drives and recruiting friends and faculty to give blood during winter months. Since 2011, the Challenge on 74 has collected numerous pints of blood during the difficult winter months, when blood donations tend to decline.
All presenting donors will receive a commemorative We Challenge U T-shirt, while supplies last.
Bradley University will also hold their blood drive in memory of Megan Fong, a former Bradley University tennis player and blood donor. After losing her match with leukemia, Megan, can be proud that her spirit will be remembered as the Bradley Athletics, American Red Cross Club and University Greek Life sponsor the blood drive in her memory.
Illinois State University Challenge on 74 blood drives:
Jan. 24 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Illinois State University Bowling and Billiards Center, 100 N. University St. in Normal, Ill.
Jan. 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Illinois State University Vrooman Center, Escalante Room, 215 W. Mulberry in Normal, Ill.
Jan. 26 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Illinois State University Watterson Towers, Rosa Parks Room, 315 S. Fell Ave. in Normal, Ill.
Bradley University Challenge on 74 blood drives:
Jan. 24 from noon to 6 p.m. at Markin Center, 819 N. Glenwood in Peoria, Ill.
Jan. 25 from noon to 6 p.m. at Markin Center, 819 N. Glenwood in Peoria, Ill.
Jan. 26 from noon to 6 p.m. at Markin Center, 819 N. Glenwood in Peoria, Ill.
The winter months can be among the most challenging times of year for the Red Cross to collect enough blood donations,” said Matt Pitcher, district manager for the Red Cross. “Many donors are busy with activities, and inclement weather can force the cancellation of blood drives. Additionally, some donors become temporarily ineligible because of seasonal illnesses. We sincerely appreciate our donors’ commitment to helping save lives year after year.”
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.
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 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.