Give the gift of hope at the Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney Holiday Blood Drives

December 13, 2013
GRAND ISLAND, Neb. – Until he was diagnosed with lymphoma in January 2011, 16-year-old Aurora High School sophomore Jacob Peters was poised to dominate in the next track and field, basketball and football seasons. Instead, his fight to live would take more strength and perseverance than his athletics ever did.
Following his diagnosis, Jacob endured several grueling months of chemotherapy and battled multiple side effects and complications, including leukemia. Regular blood and platelet transfusions helped him to continue to fight. In total, he used more than 30 blood products.
Sadly, Jacob died on Nov. 16, 2011, and didn’t live to play another season or run another race. His father, Gary Peters, hopes Jacob’s story will inspire others to give blood and discover the true meaning of giving this holiday season. Generous blood donors at the American Red Cross Grand Island, Hastings and Kearney Holiday Blood Drives on Dec. 27 can offer hope to patients like Jacob who continue to fight.
“I had never really considered donating blood before Jacob got sick, mainly because I thought it would have been inconvenient to take time out of my day to have someone poke me in the arm,” said Peters, who now donates in his son’s memory. “I think most people don’t consider donating until they are directly affected by a tragedy. But after witnessing what Jacob went through and the countless setbacks, I now know that it is not an inconvenience, it is imperative.”
The Holiday Blood Drives, which are sponsored by GI Family Radio, are important to ensuring patients have a sufficient blood supply available this holiday season. Historically, during the months of November, December and January, fewer donors take time to give blood due to competing seasonal activities, celebrations and travel plans. By giving blood at the Holiday Blood Drives, donors can help ensure that patients have the blood products they need this winter.
Upcoming Holiday Blood Drives
- Dec. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at YWCA, 211 E. Fonner Park Road in Grand Island, Neb.
- Dec. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 501 N. Burlington in Hastings, Neb.
- Dec. 27 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at American Red Cross, 520 W. 48th in Kearney, Neb.
All presenting donors will receive a free, long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, and can enjoy special refreshments. To make an appointment or for more information, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit Walk-ins also welcome.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.