Diagnosed with Leukemia in 2014, 12-year-old Lauren Cunningham continues to fight for her health and the lives of others. Lauren has received more than 80 blood transfusions during her treatment and understands the need for blood to be consistently available to those who need it.
The community is invited to support Lauren and her efforts to help save lives at a special blood drive held in her name, a Team Lauren Blood Drive, on Thursday, Jan. 19, from noon to 6 p.m. at the American Red Cross Allen County Chapter House.
A student at Bath Elementary School, Lauren is involved in dance, softball and soccer. She also attends Bath Community Church and enjoys hunting with her father. All these activities would no longer be possible for her if not for the generous blood donors who contributed to her treatment.
Lauren’s recent efforts to recruit blood donors through Team Lauren Blood Drives was featured by the Red Cross in a national winter blood donation campaign, inspiring people from across the country to donate blood in their own communities.
“We were so honored and touched to see Lauren’s story inspiring people to give blood across the country,” said Mariah Cunningham, Lauren’s mother. “We hope our local community will continue to donate in Lauren’s name as well.”
To date, five blood drives held in Lauren’s honor have brought in 278 blood donations. With a goal of 80 donations, the Jan. 19 drive could result in a total of more than 350 blood donations being given in honor of Lauren and other children with illnesses.
This blood drive comes when the Red Cross has a severe winter blood shortage and has issued an emergency call for donors to give now so patients can continue to receive the lifesaving treatments they need. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.
Blood and platelet donations are needed every day for patients with many serious medical conditions. Accident and burn victims, heart surgery patients, organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may all need blood.
Team Lauren Blood Drive
Thursday, Jan. 19, 2017
Noon to 6 p.m.
American Red Cross Allen Co. Chapter House
610 South Collett St., Lima OH 45805
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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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, 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.