Red Cross honors dedicated blood donor reaching 17 gallon milestone

October 3, 2014

WORHTINGTON, Minn. — Longtime Worthington resident and blood donor Tracy Kuipers will roll up a sleeve for one last time on Nov. 13 at the Worthington Community Blood Drive. Although Kuipers is in 90-years-old, in good health, lives on her own and walks about a mile each day, she’s decided that reaching her 17-gallon milestone will mark her final blood donation.

“I thought that when I turned 80 years old I would stop donating blood, but I still felt great so I kept going,” said Kuipers. “There’s nothing to it! Giving blood is an easy way to give back no matter what age you are, and I would encourage everyone to who is eligible to donate blood.”

Kuipers first started donating blood because her late husband was a dedicated blood donor.

Since then, she has regularly donated, has been a blood recipient herself, and has instilled the importance of blood donation in their three children who are carrying on the tradition. “My family has donated a lot of blood,” said Kuipers.

Worthington Community Blood Drive:

Nov. 13 from 1 to 7 p.m. at American Reformed Church, 1720 Burlington Ave. in Worthington

The Worthington Community is invited to help celebrate Kuipers’ milestone blood donation and help ensure patients have the lifesaving blood products they need this fall and winter.  In the state of Minnesota, donors must be 17 years old, or 16 years old with parental/guardian consent. There is no upper age limit for blood donation as long as you are well with no restrictions or limitations to your activities.

Blood donors with all types, particularly O negative, A negative and B negative, and platelet donors are currently needed. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A and B negative cam be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients. Eligible donors with types O negative, A negative and B negative blood are encouraged to donate double red cells.

How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossBloodNC.