Blood Drive in Memory of Illinois Woman

August 2, 2012

Kaye Prather Died of Cancer in May


A Medora, IL, woman who gave blood as often as she could is being remembered by community members following her death from cancer in May of this year.  In a fitting tribute, the local community is saying goodbye to Kaye Prather with an American Red Cross blood drive in her honor on Monday, Aug. 13, from 1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. at the Shipman Community Center, 234 Virginia Street, Shipman, IL.


Prather, who was well known in Shipman where she worked as a bank teller, was an avid blood donor.  In fact, according to friend Kara Shaw, Prather had donated her 12th gallon of blood prior to her cancer diagnoses in April.  Shaw is a pastor at Zion Lutheran Church, which is sponsoring the blood drive, and she said Prather had a great dedication to helping others through blood donations.


“She would give any time she could, and gave with joy and love,” Shaw said.  “I never got to ask her what motivated her to give, but you could tell from talking to her that her motivation ran deep.”


Shaw said holding a blood drive for Prather just seems like the right thing to do.


“Honoring someone by doing something they loved to do is the best way I know to keep a memory alive and grieve the loss of a wonderful person in a healthy and proactive way,” she said.


“She believed in donating blood and she was very proud of her 12 gallons that she’d donated, and the pin she got,” said Kaye’s husband, Kerry Prather, referring to the pin his wife received from the Red Cross marking her 12 gallons of blood donations.  “She loved it so much we felt it was appropriate, we buried her with it.”


Area residents can not only honor Prather, but can also help save lives by making an appointment to donate blood on Monday, August 13.  The blood drive comes at a critical time, following a June that saw Red Cross blood donations down more than 10 percent.  Red Cross blood donations are at their lowest point in 15 years.


Walk-ins are welcome at the August 13 drive, but appointments are recommended.  To schedule an appointment, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.


How to Donate Blood:

Call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit for more information or to make an appointment. 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 18 and younger. 


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies more than 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