NEWTON, Iowa (June 11, 2019) — For the second year, NTT IndyCar Series driver and blood recipient James Hinchcliffe is partnering with the American Red Cross to host a series of blood drives across the country in conjunction with local races to boost summer blood supplies. The community is invited to join the race to help save lives with Hinchcliffe at a Red Cross Hinchcliffe Challenge Blood Drive, presented by Indycar Cares, Iowa Speedway Cares and NTT IndyCar Series. The event is Thursday, July 18 from noon to 5 p.m. at the Iowa Speedway Newton Club, in Newton with a goal to collect 40 blood donations.
Those who come to give blood at this event will receive a free Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. The first 100 presenting donors will receive one Paddock Pass. Before entering the Paddock area, all donors must sign a waiver in the Credentials Office. Participants 18 years of age and under must be accompanied by an adult and complete a minor waiver form.
Hinchcliffe suffered severe injuries after a crash during practice at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in 2015. He needed 22 pints of blood to survive, about twice an average person’s blood volume. His experience led him to realize how important blood donation really is.
“What happened to me was a real eye opener,” said Hinchcliffe. “I understand now how blood can be needed in a moment’s notice and how much can be used to help just one person. I’m partnering with Red Cross to encourage more people to give blood so that patients can have another shot at life, just like I did.”
Severe injuries, like those that happened to Hinchcliffe, are a reminder of how fragile the blood supply can be. “We can’t predict when a major accident might happen,” said Laura McGuire, external communications manager for the Red Cross. “We need to be ready to respond to emergencies at any time and it’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.”
Hinchcliffe has hosted a number of Red Cross blood drives in his home town of Indianapolis since 2016, but this is the second year he is supporting a national campaign with a series of Red Cross blood drives in conjunction with races across the country. Last year, five drives were held resulting in 261 donations. Hinchcliffe seeks even more donors in 2019.
The Red Cross depends on blood donor heroes across the nation to collect enough blood to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,500 hospitals nationwide. In the Badger Hawkeye Blood Services Region alone, the Red Cross needs about 456 donors each day to support patients at 31 area hospitals. Donors of all blood types are needed to help those who rely on blood products.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) sponsor code Iaspeedway 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.