Spread hope by giving blood at Omaha, Lincoln and Council Bluffs Holiday Blood Drives

December 20, 2013
OMAHA, Neb.  —Ethan Hoffart of Omaha, Neb., knows just how difficult it can be to spend a holiday in the hospital. In 2011, when he was 10 years old, Ethan spent most of the holiday season at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center being treated for aplastic anemia, a disease in which the body’s bone marrow doesn’t make enough new blood cells. For four months, Ethan was dependent on blood transfusions every seven days and platelet transfusions every three days.
During his hospital stay, Ethan struck up a friendship with 11-year-old Cole Warner, also of Omaha. Cole was being treated for leukemia. The two, who are now good buddies, had never met though they both went to the same school and shared a passion for playing baseball. Another thing they had in common: the need for blood products.
Ethan and Cole, who are both in remission, are sharing their stories to encourage others to give the gift of hope at the American Red Cross Holiday Blood Drives on Dec. 23 in Omaha and Lincoln, Neb. and Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Fewer blood donations are typically given around busy holidays. The Holiday Blood Drives, which are sponsored by KETV NewsWatch 7 and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, help to make up this shortfall and give donors the opportunity to discover the true meaning of giving this holiday season.
“The Holiday Blood Drives come at a crucial time of year for patients in need of blood,” said Tricia Quinn, CEO of the Red Cross Midwest Blood Services Region. “By rolling up a sleeve and donating, donors are giving hospital patients the chance to spend more holiday seasons with loved ones.”
Upcoming Holiday Blood Drives
Dec. 23 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Mid-America Center, 1 Arena Way in Council Bluffs, Iowa
Dec. 23 from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. at Marriott Hotel, 10220 Regency Circle in Omaha, Neb.
Dec. 23 from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Wilderness Ridge, 1800 Wilderness Woods Place in Lincoln, Neb.
Donors of all types – especially O negative, A negative and B negative and AB – are urged to schedule an appointment to donate blood by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visiting redcrossblood.org. Walk-ins are also welcome.
All presenting donors will receive a free, long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, and be entered to win door prizes. Additionally, special refreshments will be served. Free childcare is also available.
Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in Nebraska) 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. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.
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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.