Blood drive to honor 7-year-old blood receipient George Lagerstrom as he prepares for possible heart transplant

April 16, 2013

EDINA, Minn. — Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Edina invites the community to donate blood on April 30 in honor of George Lagerstrom, a 7-year-old blood recipient and possible heart transplant patient.

George was born with a congenital heart defect which required an extensive surgery that took place on September 20, 2012 at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia. Following the surgery, George experienced complications and was put on ECMO, a machine which performs the heart and lung functions while the heart recuperates. Due to poor perfusion and excessive bleeding when on ECMO, George’s extremities suffered significant damage, which required amputation of his left hand and partial amputation of his right hand and foot.  To date, George has required more than 120 pints of blood and blood products.

Feel the Force Blood Drive in Honor of George Lagerstrom
April 30 from 12 to 6 p.m.
Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
Cassidy Hall
5051 Eden Ave., Edina, Minn.
Special appearances will be made by the 501st Legion, the Lucasfilm's preferred imperial costuming group throughout the blood drive.

George’s parents, Julie and Ed Lagerstrom, have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support they have received from the community. “Words cannot express how blessed we feel. We are so grateful for the generosity of the hundreds of blood donors who helped save George’s life and we feel strongly about giving back,” said Julie. “I am reminded each day of the miraculous progress George has made because the doctors said that children with this much blood loss don’t usually make it to this point.”

“Blood products kept George alive and without them he wouldn’t be here with us today. I will never forget the first night George was put on ECMO and how difficult it was for the medical staff to keep up with his blood loss,” said Julie. “This blood drive means the world to us and we hope it will help replace the blood that George has needed and help save someone else’s life. George is an amazing young boy and living proof that blood donations can help save lives!”

George is currently recovering at the University of Minnesota Children’s Amplatz Hospital where he is regaining his strength each day. While the Lagerstrom family is praying that George’s heart heals completely, they are facing the likelihood that George will need a heart transplant.

About George Lagerstrom
To learn more about George Lagerstrom, please visit his CaringBridge website at

How to Donate Blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit and use sponsor code: 0177195 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 join our blog at

About the 501st Legion
The 501st Legion is a worldwide Star Wars costuming organization comprised of and operated by Star Wars fans. The Legion is an all-volunteer organization formed for the express purpose of bringing together costume enthusiasts under a collective identity within which to operate. The Legion seeks to promote interest in Star Wars through the building and wearing of quality costumes, and to facilitate the use of these costumes for Star Wars-related events as well as contributions to the local community through costumed charity and volunteer work.

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