ROCHELLE, Ill. (June 26, 2018) — The American Red Cross is joining family and friends to host the Flip Flops and Blood Drops Blood Drive in honor of Lana and Ellie Troha, Monday, July 23, from 1 to 6 p.m. at Hickory Grove Banquet and Convention Center, 1127 N. Seventh Street, in Rochelle.
In April 2014, Gabby and Derek Troha went on a Florida vacation anticipating wearing flip flops, enjoying sunshine and smiles as they waited for the birth of their twin girls in August. However, while there, Gabby was rushed into emergency surgery at Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women and Babies. The girls, Lana and Ellie, were born later that day at 23 weeks 5 days and placed in the NICU.
On April 28, Ellie’s health took a turn for the worse and she received a blood transfusion in an effort to help save her life. Unfortunately, it was not enough and Ellie passed away from a bacterial infection. A week later, Lana caught the same bacterial infection in addition to having a meconium blockage in her intestines and a grade three brain bleed. Within her first four months of life, Lana miraculously survived all complications and received eight units of blood.
Looking at Lana Troha now, it’s hard to imagine she once weighed 1 pound 6 ounces and was 11 inches long at birth. Today the 4-year old is healthy, happy and continues to grow, thanks in part to generous blood donors and lifesaving blood donations.
“Hosting the Flip Flops and Blood Drops blood drive is a wonderful way to remember Ellie, honor Lana and help patients in need,” said Gabby Troha, mother of the twins. “We hope to see a lot of the community come out to give blood and help keep the blood supply at a stable level. We want the blood drive to be a time of celebration and happiness and be a tribute to the girls being born in Florida.”
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross is urging individuals to help ensure blood is never missing from hospital shelves by donating blood through the Missing Types campaign. The goal of Missing Types is to inspire new blood donors and those who haven’t given in a while to give this summer and become a regular blood donor for patients in need in the years to come. For the past four years, new Red Cross blood donors have declined by about 80,000 each year. More blood donors are needed now to fill the gaps.
For the last six years Gabby has been a team lead for the collections staff for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Never did I expect that when I started six years ago, that my own daughters would need the gift of blood,” said, Troha. “The Red Cross is not just a job to me, it’s much more personal than that. Every day I go to work I am reminded why I’m there and who I’m helping. Every donor has a story and it’s equally important for them to donate as it is for me to be there. Without each other there wouldn’t be a supply of blood to help save lives.”
Blood Drive In Memory of Lana and Ellie Troha
Monday, July 23, 2018
1 to 6 p.m.
Hickory Grove Banquet and Convention Center
1127 N. Seventh St., Rochelle, Ill.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American 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.