Urbana, Ill. (Feb. 27, 2020) — A special American Red Cross blood drive will be held in memory of Trent Ohlsson Sunday, March 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Urbana Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana.
Trent Ohlsson was 13 years old when he was diagnosed with ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of cancer. He fought cancer for two years, receiving multiple blood and platelet transfusions before he passed away in May 2019.
This is the first blood drive held in Trent’s memory. His family chose this day to hold a blood drive, which would have been his 16th birthday, and they hope to help as many patients as possible who may be going through the same thing.
“I am so grateful for blood donors giving the gift of life,” said, Christy Ohlsson, Trent’s mother. “I would have not been given two additional years with Trent if it wasn’t for blood donors.”
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 nearly 13,000 blood and more than 2,600 platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.
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.
“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Anna Feltham, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We take for granted that blood will be at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors. Giving blood in Trent’s name is a wonderful way to remember him and potentially help others with this condition.”
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
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.