Blood Drive in Honor of Sesser, IL First Grader

December 13, 2011

Cannon McKee Diagnosed with Kidney Tumor


“Jesus is right with me through all of this.”

That has been the mantra for Sesser youngster Cannon McKee in recent months following his kidney tumor diagnosis and the subsequent removal of organs and the start of chemotherapy treatment.  Now, the Sesser community is invited to be with Cannon during a blood drive in his honor on Tuesday, Dec. 27, from 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. at the First Baptist Church – Sesser, 5422 Church Street.

Cannon, described as an active and athletic child who loves monster trucks, has required several blood transfusions as part of his treatment.  Family friend and blood drive coordinator April Spence said that’s why organizers felt an American Red Cross blood drive would be a great way to honor him.

“We hope we can raise awareness in the community about the need for blood,” Spence said.

Blood transfusions are a typical part of treatment for many cancer patients and those undergoing chemotherapy.  Surgery patients and victims of car accidents and other injuries often need blood, as well.  The need for blood is constant, but can be especially important during winter months, when inclement weather and the cold and flu season can cause a drop in the number of blood donations.

The Red Cross and blood drive organizers hope to collect 30 units of blood during the drive in Cannon’s honor.  Because each blood donation can help save up to three lives, 90 people could be positively impacted by the generosity of Sesser area blood donors.

Donors are encouraged to give the perfect gift this holiday season to patients in need of blood.  By donating blood, you can give the gift of another hug, another laugh, another smile, and another chance to those like Cannon.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.

You can also give something that means something with a donation to the Red Cross.  The Red Cross Holiday Giving Catalog has 25 symbolic gifts representing all Red Cross services that people can purchase in the name of a loved one during the holiday season.  Check out the catalog at




How to Donate Blood:

Simply call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit to make an appointment today. All blood types are needed to ensure the Red Cross maintains an adequate blood supply. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Donors must be in general good health, weigh at least 110 pounds and be at least 17 years old (16 with completed Parental Consent Form). New height and weight restrictions apply to donors younger than 19. Visit to learn more.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at