American Red Cross blood drive honors Illinois child

April 4, 2013

 Kaitlyn Holste fighting T-cell lymphoma


EFFINGHAM, Ill. (April 4, 2013) – She rides horses. She does dance and gymnastics. She enjoys cheerleading and is a straight-A student. To look at her, you may not realize that 10 year- old Kaitlyn Holste suffers from cancer. But she does, and while her T-cell lymphoma is currently in remission, her family wants to help others who may be dealing with similar diagnoses.


The Holste family joins the American Red Cross in inviting the public to help save lives by giving blood at a drive in Kaitlyn’s honor on April 18. Blood collected at the Kaitlyn Holste Blood Drive could help many patients, including those with cancer, some of whom require daily transfusions as part of their treatment.


“Kaitlyn is doing super now, but we want to continue to raise awareness about the need for blood products,” said Rebecca Holste, Kaitlyn’s mother.


Rebecca Holste has donated blood in the past, but said until her daughter was diagnosed in October 2010 and began receiving blood and platelet transfusions as part of her treatment, she hadn’t grasped the importance of such donations.


“There are so many (sick and injured) kids that need this to live.  It really opens your eyes,” she said.


Kaitlyn Holste Blood Drive

April 18 from 2 to 7 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church

600 W. Temple, Effingham, Ill.


All blood types are needed at the Kaitlyn Holste Blood Drive to help the Red Cross maintain adequate supplies throughout the spring.

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 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