TOMAHAWK, Wis. (April 26, 2021) — The community is invited to give blood in memory of Barb Seavey at a special American Red Cross blood drive Thursday, May 13 from noon to 5:30 p.m. at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, 320 E. Washington Ave.
Barb was diagnosed with acute myelomonocytic leukemia, a type of blood cancer affecting the growth of bone marrow cells. Barb received chemotherapy and her life was extended because of the lifesaving measures she received in the form of blood products and platelets. These almost daily transfusions gave her more time with her family.
Barb’s condition was aggressive, and she passed away in January 2020, only six months after diagnosis.
“This memorial blood drive will be part of the healing process that our family is still experiencing,” said Paula Randall, Seavey’s daughter. “We hope that the blood collected during this drive will help so many who may be facing the same challenges as our mother did.”
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.
Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations to meet the needs of hospital patients across the country. 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.
Blood and platelet donors of all types are needed this month to help ensure blood products are available for patients now and into summer. In thanks for making it a summer full of life, those who come to give May 1-15 will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card by email. Those who make it in to donate in May will also automatically be entered for a chance to win a travel trailer camper that sleeps five, powered by Suburban Propane.* Additional details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/SummerFullOfLife.
Health insights for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.
Plasma from routine blood and platelet donations that test positive for high levels of antibodies may be used as convalescent plasma to meet potential future needs of COVID-19 patients. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood product collected from COVID-19 survivors who have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.
Donors can expect to receive antibody test and sickle cell trait screening results, if applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
Blood drive safety
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 masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect 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 mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.