Community invited to help meet the emergency need for blood donations
PRIOR LAKE, Minn. — An American Red Cross blood drive will be held Thursday, July 27, in honor of Anna Malmquist. The Shakopee resident was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia, an aggressive form of blood cancer.
In May, following a wisdom tooth extraction, Malmquist experienced some swelling that eventually went into the lymph nodes in her neck, making it hard to swallow. She went to the emergency room where she was treated for the symptoms, and they also discovered that her white blood cell count was alarmingly high. She was admitted to the hospital to begin treatment for leukemia, including chemotherapy, and because of the effects of chemotherapy and medications, Malmquist has been the recipient of 13 blood transfusions.
“We can’t think of a better way to rally together for Anna than having a blood drive in her honor,” said Krissy Moore, Anna’s friend and co-worker at River Valley YMCA. “Friends and family are looking for ways to show Anna and her family support while they are going through this challenging time. Donating blood in her honor is an opportunity to pay it forward and help save the lives of others in need of blood transfusions.”
Donate blood in honor of Anna Malmquist
Thursday, July 27
1 to 7 p.m.
Shepherd of the Lake Lutheran Church
Upper Great Room
3611 North Berens Road NW
Unfortunately, the first round of chemotherapy did not knock out the leukemia completely. Malmquist, mother of three young children ages 3, 6 and 10 weeks old, is currently at home receiving a second form of chemotherapy in an outpatient pill through a study conducted at the University of Minnesota. Although she is feeling better she is still very sick. Her blood count numbers have stabilized, but her body has a hard time fighting off infections. The next steps are to obtain remission and then receive a bone marrow transplant. During this process, she will go through another round of chemotherapy and radiation and will likely require additional blood transfusions.
“Every time you donate blood you help save a life,” said Malmquist. “Sound extreme? Not to the patients whose lives have been saved through the efforts of blood donors. Because of blood donors I am still alive and fighting today. I’m asking for your help to consider donating blood. It doesn’t cost a thing and it is worth life to someone else! Be a donor – every pint counts!”
To make an appointment to donate, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
This blood drive comes when the Red Cross is facing a critical blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for donors of all types to give now so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need. Blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in, and more donations are needed now to replenish the blood supply.
How to donate blood
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.