Rock on at annual Rock ‘N Roll Up Your Sleeve blood drives

September 5, 2013

MANKATO, Minn. – Eligible blood donors are encouraged to roll up a sleeve at the annual American Red Cross Rock N’ Roll Up Your Sleeve blood drives, sponsored by  Three Eagles Communications and Culver’s, to help ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need. The special event blood drives are being held Sept. 11 – 14 and all presenting donors will receive a coupon for a free pint of Culver’s frozen custard, and Three Eagles Communications will broadcast live from Rock N’ Roll drive sites throughout the week.

One Mankato family knows how important it is to have a stable blood supply available. During a routine ultrasound appointment, Nicole and Adam Saidler, a couple expecting their first baby, were swiftly referred to the University of Minnesota Children’s Amplatz Hospital. Using fetal echocardiography, it was confirmed their unborn son had a congenital heart defect, a double inlet left ventricle, that is seen in about 5 – 10 of 100,000 births.

Due to his condition, Owen was born at Amplatz Children’s Hospital. After he was stabilized, doctors determined he would not need surgery to make his heart work effectively until he was more developed. At six months old, he underwent two open heart surgeries followed by another surgery in March 2013 in which he experienced complications
and needed several blood transfusions. A final surgery was scheduled in May 2013, but after prepping him for surgery, the doctors determined there was too much swelling and the surgery was postponed.

Owen’s next, and hopefully final surgery, is scheduled for Oct. 18, 2013. “The doctors feel that this surgery will repair his heart completely and he should be able to lead a pretty normal life. He may need additional heart repairs after he reaches 30-years old, including the possibility of a heart transplant,” said Nicole.

The Saidler’s are encouraging others to donate blood to help save the lives of children like Owen who are born with congenital heart defects or other illnesses.  Nicole calls her 4-year-old son a miracle and credits the blood transfusions he received with helping him survive. “Blood transfusions were essential to him during surgery when his body was not capable of producing blood cells on its own. Owen has needed a total of 13 blood products during transfusions and we are grateful that the blood he needed was available when he needed it most.”

“We are thrilled that Owen was able to recently start pre-school and will likely lead a normal life. After his surgery we hope he will be able to keep up with the other kids and continue being a wonderful big brother to his one-and-a-half-year-old sister Autumn who is heart healthy.”

2013 Rock N’ Roll Up Your Sleeve Blood Drives

Tuesday, Sept. 10, from, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Culver’s, 1856 Madison Avenue, Mankato

Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Culver’s 1856 Madison Avenue, Mankato

Wednesday, Sept. 11, from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 105 Homestead Avenue, Mankato

Thursday, Sept. 12, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Culver’s, 1680 Commerce Drive, North Mankato

Thursday, Sept. 12, from, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 105 Homestead Avenue, Mankato

Friday, Sept. 13, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., American Red Cross, 105 Homestead Avenue, Mankato

The Rock ‘N Roll blood drives comes at an important time of year for the Red Cross. While thousands of people responded to the emergency call for blood and platelet donations in July, an urgent need remains for donors with type’s O negative, a negative and B negative blood. Donors who gave blood at the start of summer may now be eligible to donate again as summer comes to a close.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 @Red Cross.