Red Cross blood drives in Bellevue honor local toddler

January 6, 2014
BELLEVUE, Neb. — Emily Stephenson will turn 2 in February. Since her birth, Emily has received at least 20 blood transfusions – nearly one for every month of her life.
Emily is dependent on blood transfusions because she was born with a genetic blood disorder called sphereocytosis, which destroys her red blood cells and causes severe anemia.
Emily’s parents, Air Force Staff Sergeant Wayne Stephenson and his wife, Amy, hope that Emily’s story will inspire others to give.  A number of upcoming Bellevue and Offutt Air Force Base blood drives are being dedicated to Emily as a show of support.
“We will always be thankful for blood donors because they are saving Emily’s life,” said Amy Stephenson, who plans to attend the blood drives with Emily. “With each person that chooses to donate, they’re helping patients like Emily.”
The blood drives being held in Emily’s honor come at an important time for the Red Cross. The winter months can be a difficult time to collect blood donations, due to inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. All blood types are needed, especially types O negative, A negative and B negative. One blood donation could help save up to three lives.  
Give blood in honor of Emily Stephenson:
  • Jan. 5 from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Iglesia Ni Cristo Church of Christ, 2111 Kimberly St., Bellevue, Neb.
  • Jan. 6 from 1:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Immanuel Lutheran, 104 Galvin Rd., Bellevue, Neb.
  • Jan. 9 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Airmen Leadership School, Offutt Air Force Base, Neb.
  • Jan. 18 from 7 to 11:30 a.m. at St. James United Methodist Church, 1501 Franklin St., Bellevue, Neb.
  • Jan. 28 from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Calvary Lutheran Church, 10100 Cedar Island Rd., Bellevue, Neb.
  • Jan. 31 from 7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Ehrling Bergquist Clinic, 2501 Capehart Rd., Bellevue, Neb.
The Red Cross hopes to collect more than 250 blood donations during these drives, which is enough to help save as many as 750 lives.
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.