New Glarus Community Blood Drive Held in Memory of Catelyn Owen

August 13, 2012

NEW GLARUS, Wis. - On August 17, New Glarus-area residents can roll up their sleeves and donate blood to honor the memory of Catelyn Owen. Catelyn was just 20 months old when she passed away last September after developing Hemolytic-uremic syndrome (HUS), a childhood disease that destroys red blood cells. During her 10-day hospital stay, Catelyn received two blood transfusions, and her parents are grateful for those who gave blood to provide additional memories for their family.

“I’m inspired by the selflessness of others who give blood, as it provides a gift that nothing else can match,” said Tracy Owen, Catelyn’s mother. “When you donate blood, you give hope to all families, no matter the outcome. Sponsoring a blood drive in Catelyn’s name is a way for Nic [Catelyn’s father] and I to honor the memory of our little angel.”

Friday, August 17 from 12:45 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
New Glarus Bible Church, 207 Sixth St., New Glarus, Wis.

Over Labor Day weekend last year, Catelyn was admitted to UW Children’s Hospital after contracting Shigellosis, a foodborne illness closely associated with E. coli. Further testing revealed that she had developed HUS, a disease that often occurs when an infection in the digestive system produces toxic substances, destroying red blood cells and causing kidney failure. Catelyn’s chances for survival looked positive, but she took a sudden turn for the worse. After undergoing dialysis treatment and receiving two blood transfusions, the infection unexpectedly reached her bloodstream and Catelyn’s short life came to an end.   

Currently, all blood types are needed, especially O positive, O negative, B negative and A negative, in order to meet patient demand this summer. In the hour it takes to donate blood, you can give someone an opportunity to spend more time with their loved ones. Consider giving the gift of life in memory of Catelyn Owen this summer.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 permission 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. 

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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 or join our blog at