CHILLICOTHE, Ill. (Oct. 12, 2020) — The Holloway family is inviting the community to donate blood in honor of 8-year-old Kacer Holloway at a special American Red Cross blood drive Tuesday, Nov. 3 from 1 to 6 p.m. at Chillicothe Christian Church, 510 Frances St., in Chillicothe. Appointments are strongly encouraged to abide with social distancing guidelines.
Kacer was two years old when he was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor, a form of kidney cancer. During his cancer journey at St. Jude, Kacer received multiple blood and platelet transfusions which helped him fight the battle. Now six years later, following aggressive chemotherapy, radiation and surgery, he is cancer free.
“Our community has been so supportive,” said Danielle Holloway, Kacer’s mother. “Chillicothe is a very sharing and selfless community. Please come help someone by donating blood.” This is the sixth year the family has held the blood drive and they are proud to say they have helped to raise over 191 lifesaving donations.
Every two seconds in the United States blood and platelets are 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.
“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Hannah Yarnell, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We take for granted that blood will be there at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors. Giving blood in Kacer’s name is a wonderful way to honor this cute boy and potentially help others with his condition.”
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be convalescent plasma donors. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within 7 to 10 days through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org.
The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.