Eight-Year-Old Zachary Elsenpeter to be Honored at Andover Blood Drive

April 11, 2012

Zachary Elsenpeter, an eight-year-old kidney transplant and blood recipient will be honored at the American Red Cross blood drive on April 12, 2012 from 12:30 – 5:30 p.m. at Andover Elementary School, 14950 Andover Blvd NW.  All eligible donors are encouraged to give blood for patients like Zachery.

In December 20o3, at just two weeks old, Zachary was diagnosed with kidney failure and the doctors informed his parents, Wade and Stacey, that he would require a kidney transplant to live. While waiting for a kidney match, Zachary required many surgeries and blood transfusions.

Zachary received a kidney transplant from his father at 11 months old, but by age five he endured kidney failure again. Although his mother was not a match, Stacey donated a kidney as part of the Paired Exchange Program, which enabled a kidney match to be found and Zachary underwent his second kidney transplant from an anonymous donor this year. 

“We are so grateful for the generosity of the hundreds of blood donors who helped save Zachary’s life and we feel strongly about giving back to our community,” said Stacey. “We want others to know that by giving blood they are making a difference. Blood products kept Zachary alive and without them he wouldn’t be here with us today. You just don’t know when you or a family member is going to need blood. Zachary is living proof that blood donations help save lives!”

Currently all blood types are needed, especially types O negative.  Type O negative, the universal blood type, can potentially be transfused to patients with any blood type.

How to Donate Blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org and enter sponsor code 0177692 to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed, especially type O negative, 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 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 redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.