WAUPUN, Wis. (Aug. 12, 2019) — Family, friends and community members are invited to roll-up a sleeve and donate blood in memory of Morris TeGrootenhuis, Thursday, Aug. 29 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Edgewood Church in Waupun.
TeGrootenhuis passed away Feb. 17, 2019, after being diagnosed with gastric small cell carcinoma. He was a loyal blood donor and donated nearly 126 lifesaving blood donations or the equivalent of nearly 15 gallons during his lifetime. Having lived in the Waupun community for over 60 years, TeGrootenhuis not only donated blood but was also a recipient of blood products.
Darlene Bouwkamp, TeGrootenhuis’s daughter, has been a Red Cross blood program leader for eight years. “Dad loved to help people and giving blood was one way that he was able to do so,” said Bouwkamp. This community blood drive has collected nearly 3,800 donations since 2005.
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces an emergency blood shortage. Blood donors are needed now to help avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients this summer. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in. More donations are immediately needed to help replenish the blood supply.
With the help of a generous $1 million donation from Amazon, the Red Cross is thanking those who help overcome the shortage by coming to give July 29 through Aug. 29 with 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.)
“Donating blood was always a priority for Morris” said Jenelle Blavat, account manager for the Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region. “His dedication was reflected in all aspects of his life and the entire community is invited to donate in his memory and help ensure blood products are available to those who need it.”
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. 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.
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) 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.