WILLARD, Mo. (May 16, 2019) — The American Red Cross is teaming up with Willard High School to host a blood drive in honor of Michael Finley Monday, June 3 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Willard High School, 515 E. Jackson St., in Willard.
On March 5, 2019, one day after Michael Finley competed in the state wrestling tournament with Willard High School he was diagnosed with influenza A. His health quickly declined leading to necrotizing pneumonia, a staph infection and sepsis. Michael later was diagnosed with secondary hemophagocytic lymph histiocytosis, also known as HLH, and he received one dose of chemotherapy.
Michael was placed on extracorporeal membrane oxygenation. His lungs were severely damaged and he required a bilateral lung transplant on April 28, 2019. Michael is still hospitalized at Children’s Hospital in St. Louis where he continues to get stronger every day.
“The outpouring of support and love we have received from local community members and from previous community members where we once lived goes to show what a wonderful, kind hearted kid Michael is,” said Michael Finley, Sr., Michael’s father. “Michael has received over 60 units of blood during his illness and we would love to be able to give back even more through this blood drive.”
The Red Cross currently has a critical shortage of type O blood. Right now, and type O blood is being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. Type O donors ─ and donors of all types ─ are urged to give now to help ensure blood is on the shelves for patients when every second matters.
In thanks, all those who come to donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross May 1 through June 10, 2019, will receive a $5 Amazon.com Gift Card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
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. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org and use sponsor code Michael 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.