GREEN BAY, Wis. (June 3, 2019) — The community is invited to give blood in memory of Nicole Ekberg at a special American Red Cross blood drive Thursday, June 20 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Howard Village Hall, 2456 Glendale Ave., in Green Bay.
Nicole was diagnosed with a rare blood disorder, aplastic anemia, a condition that occurs when the body stops producing enough new blood cells. During her eight-year battle with the condition, blood transfusions were often required. Her best chance for a cure was to have a bone marrow transplant. However, a suitable donor was never found and she passed in May 2018. In the last 16 months of her life, she received nearly 89 blood transfusions.
Nicole was an inspiration and known to have big dreams, a sparkling personality, all while sharing compassion with others. She showed tremendous empathy and gave back by growing her hair many times and donating it to others who were dealing with losing their hair from cancer. Nicole was positive, optimistic, extremely outgoing with a heart and spirit that would fill a room with cheer.
“We want to honor Nicole by having this blood drive in her honor on what would have been her birthday,” said Dean Ekberg, Nicole’s father. “We would like to see a huge response from the local community, especially young donors that may have not donated before and with great hopes that they continue to donate blood throughout their lives.”
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.
“Hosting this blood drive in her name is a wonderful way to honor Nicole and help patients in need,” said Debbie Mylener, account manager for the Red Cross Badger Hawkeye Blood Services Region. “We hope to see a lot of the community come out to donate and help supply blood products to the Red Cross.”
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.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter sponsor code: nicoleek 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, from a computer or mobile device. 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.