Columbus, Neb. family’s appreciation for blood donors is truly heartfelt

December 14, 2012
COLUMBUS, Neb. — From the outside, 3-year-old Justin Eisemann of Schuyler, Neb. is just a normal, happy kid who loves Thomas the Train and toy trucks. And that’s what he is – with one important difference. “He’s a normal little boy that just has somebody else’s heart,” said Laura Eisemann, his mom.
Five days after Justin Eisemann was born, he contracted a virus that attacked his heart. The damage was too severe for his tiny heart to endure. When he was just 77 days old, Justin underwent a heart transplant. Not only did he receive a donated heart, he also received donated blood.
This holiday season, the Eisemann family is asking the Columbus community to give one last gift this holiday season – the gift of life – by donating blood at the Columbus Holiday Blood Drive on Dec. 29.
“Look at Justin,” Laura said. “He’s here because other people donated a heart as well as blood. Look what we’ve got. Can’t you spare time for patients like Justin?”
The need for blood is constant and doesn’t take a holiday. Winter weather, seasonal illnesses and holiday plans often impact donors’ availability to give blood. This can reduce blood supplies for patients in need.
“The Columbus Holiday Blood Drive comes at an important time of year for the Red Cross,” said Tricia Quinn, CEO of the Midwest Blood Services Region. “This blood drive will help boost the blood supply during the holidays and each pint may help save up to three lives. The only cost is about an hour of your time, but, to a hospital patient in need, time is everything.”
Laura is extremely grateful to those who make the time to give. “Thank you for being unselfish. It is such a simple thing to do, but it is so important.”
Columbus Holiday Blood Drive
Saturday, Dec. 29 from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Holiday Inn Express, 524 E. 23rd St., Columbus
All presenting donors will receive an insulated Red Cross mug and can enjoy doughnuts courtesy of Hy-Vee and sandwiches from Jimmy John’s.
To make an appointment, call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit (sponsor code 0092168).
All blood types are needed to ensure an adequate blood supply during the holidays, especially donors with type O positive, O negative, A negative or B negative blood.
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 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.
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 or join our blog at