Blood drive honors 9-year-old boy with bleeding disorder

April 25, 2012
OMAHA, Neb. – When Zach Eisold went for his football physical last summer, his doctor noticed bruising all over his body and ordered blood tests. A half hour later, his mother Chrissy Eisold was given the choice to either drive Zach to the hospital or let an ambulance take him there.
The test results showed that Zach’s platelet count was dangerously low – 1,500 compared to the normal 150,000-400,000 range. Zach was diagnosed idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP), a bleeding disorder in which the immune system destroys platelets. Platelets help the body form clots to stop or prevent bleeding.
Thus far, Zach, a fourth grader at Reeder Elementary, has received six intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) infusions to treat his condition. IVIG is a blood product, made from pooled human plasma, often given to people who have an immune deficiency or an autoimmune illness.
“Everyone is always asking me what they can do. The first thing I say is we welcome prayers, and the second thing I ask is that they donate blood,” explains Chrissy. “While those donations do not go directly to Zach, blood donations are necessary to make his IVIG. Without those infusions, Zach is in danger of bleeding internally or not being able to clot.”
Because his treatment has relied on blood products, Zach's family and friends are hosting an American Red Cross blood drive in his honor to help ensure that blood products are available for patients like Zach.
Friends and Family of Zach Eisold Blood Drive
Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Bellbrook Neighborhood Clubhouse
19653 Chandler St., Gretna, Neb.
To make an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit
Eligible donors of all blood types are encouraged to make an appointment to donate blood at the Zach Eisold blood drive or another convenient blood donation opportunity. With blood products currently being delivered to hospitals as quickly as they are coming in, the Red Cross needs donors to roll up a sleeve to ensure blood is there for patients whenever and wherever it is needed
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