PEORIA, Ill. The Simmons family is inviting the community to donate blood in memory of 10-month-old Bowden “the Brave” Simmons at a special American Red Cross blood drive on Saturday, Oct. 29, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at First Church of the Brethren, 4714 N. Sheridan Road, Peoria.
Bowden was only 3 months old when diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) and acute myloid leukemia. During months of treatment, he received 88 blood transfusions to help save his life.
“Bowden was the sweetest little baby with the most contagious smile,” said Bowden’s mother, Christine Simmons. “He brought people together in prayer and in service.”
The Simmons family is now inviting the community to remember Bowden and help others in need of blood.
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 approximately 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers nationwide.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org, and enter sponsor code: BOWDENTHEBRAVE 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.