UnityPoint Health hosts blood drive to help save lives
PEKIN, Ill. — The community is invited to give blood in memory of Thelma Johnson at a special American Red Cross blood drive on Friday, April 7, from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. at UnityPoint Health, 600 S. 13th St. in Pekin.
Thelma volunteered for nearly 41 years as a life member of the Pekin Hospital Auxiliary. In May 2016, she was honored for contributing more than 10,000 lifetime hours of service. She served as president of the Saint Joseph Catholic Church Council of Catholic Women, volunteered her time as a Cub Scout den mother, 4-H leader and was a long-time member of the Hoe and Hope Garden Club.
“Thelma was a tremendous person. She supported people and believed in everyone”, said Kevin Johnson, Thelma’s husband. “She always placed other’s needs before her own while sharing her passion for life.”
Thelma received many blood transfusions before she passed in February 2016.
“Hosting this blood drive in her name is a wonderful way to honor Thelma and help patients in need,” said Tony Baker, account manager for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “Thelma would have been honored to lend her name to this blood drive.”
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 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals 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.