MADISON, Wis. — The community is invited to give blood in memory of David Merle Baker at a special American Red Cross blood drive on Wednesday, March 15, from 1 to 6 p.m. at Mount Olive Lutheran Church in Madison.
A Red Cross volunteer for ten years, Baker donated more than 170 pints of blood over his lifetime. When diagnosed with Leukemia, blood transfusions helped Baker survive until cancer took his life on October 18, 2016. He was a beloved husband, father, and friend.
“When dad needed blood it was always there,” said Brad Baker, David’s son. “We want to show our appreciation by having a blood drive in his honor so that other lives can be saved. He would want others to have the same opportunity and would be honored to lend his name to this blood drive.”
The Baker family encourages the church family and community to give blood in Baker’s honor on March 15, which happens to be during Red Cross Month. Red Cross Month is a celebration of the everyday heroes, like the family and friends who continue to honor Baker’s memory by rolling up a sleeve to give blood for patients in need.
Volunteering with Mount Olive Lutheran Church, the Boy Scouts of America, the Republican Party of Dane County, The Road Home, the Wisconsin Coalition for Patient Directed Care and the United Way, Baker’s spirit continues to touch many hearts.
Mount Olive Lutheran Church has been the host of many Red Cross blood drives over the years and this year’s blood drive is dedicated to Baker’s memory. Baker served as the Red Cross one-a-week coordinator at the church and also volunteered at the blood drives for many years.
“Hosting this blood drive in his name is a wonderful way to honor David and help patients in need,” said Michelle Meekma-Yaun, account manager for the Red Cross Badger-Hawkeye Blood Services Region.
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 nearly 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for 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 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 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 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.