Laps for Life

Buddy Blood drop and the American flag decorate the front of the Charlotte Motor Speedway before the Laps for Life blood drive.

Hundreds of people came out to give the Gift of Life on Sept. 7 for the “LAPS FOR LIFE” blood drive in honor of the 11th anniversary of 9/11.  Thanks to the generosity of racing enthusiasts and Charlotte Motor Speedway, the American Red Cross collected 373 units of lifesaving blood, more than a hundred units over last year’s total.  The annual speedway drive continues to make huge growth and help save more lives each year.  In 2011, the drove collected 255 pints, and two years ago, 96 units of blood were collected.

Sheila Richardson, of Mooresville, donated blood in honor of her 9-year-old daughter, who she credits being alive today because of the lifesaving blood transfusions she received as a baby. 

 “If so many generous people hadn’t donated blood when my daughter needed it, she would not have survived,” said Sheila Richardson.  “It’s the least I can do to be able to do the same for someone else.”

The event kicked off with a special and emotional opening ceremony, remembering the victims and first responders of 9/11.  Local first responders were also honored throughout the day.

People who could not attend the 9/11 blood drive can call 1-800-RED CROSS or visit www.redcrossblood.org to schedule a lifesaving appointment.

The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides lifesaving blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet hospital demand. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be safely given every two weeks, up to 24 times a year. Most healthy people age 17 and older, 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

A place to lay your head

 

Mattress Source donated nearly 100 air mattresses and air pumps to the American Red Cross.

 

Mattress Source in Charlotte today donated nearly 100 air mattresses and almost as many hand pumps to the American Red Cross.

“These will be extremely meaningful for people who have lost their homes in a fire or other disaster,” said Rick Schou, emergency services director for the local Red Cross.

John Arbenz, from Mattress Source, and Rick Schou of the American Red Cross load air mattresses.

Emma Grace celebrates her “rebirthday”

Emma Grace (bottom, left) poses with her brother, parents and local American Red Cross CEO Angela A. Broome in front of the Bloodmobile at the Charlotte Knights game.
Emma Grace (bottom, left) poses with her brother, parents and local American Red Cross CEO Angela A. Broome in front of the Bloodmobile at the Charlotte Knights game.

At age 10, Emma Grace Barnes, of Fort Mill, S.C., is not your typical blood drive sponsor. She’s a spunky fifth-grader at Metrolina Regional Scholars Academy, and she dances at Miller Street Dance Academy.

In July 2011, Emma Grace became very sick. She was diagnosed with AVM (arteriovenous malformation) in her brain, causing her brain to bleed. Doctors had to perform a craniotomy on Emma Grace. She also underwent radiation treatments and had to receive blood transfusions.

Many with AVM do not survive. Those who do, call their survival date a “rebirthday.” Emma Grace realized how thankful she was to receive blood, and it helped save her life. She decided to host a blood drive at her dance school, which has been an integral part of her recovery—physically, mentally and socially. Never doing anything half-way, Emma Grace’s first blood drive was a big success, surpassing her goal of 25 units, and collecting 27 pints of blood!

“When people donate blood you can know for a fact that you did something good for another person who really needed it,” said Emma Grace.

“Emma Grace has faced each step with courage and determination. I am so proud of her,” said Emma Grace’s Mom Emme Barnes. “As a parent of a child who needed the blood when we were in crisis mode helping her recover from such an invasive surgery, it was comforting to know that someone’s selfless act of donating blood made such a huge difference. It was one less thing to worry about in the hospital so we are truly grateful.”

Emma Grace now wants to host a blood drive at her dance studio every July to celebrate her “rebirthday.”

Give blood now

When the gift of life gives back

The following was written by Mike Boyd, who works inAmerican Red Cross blood donor recruitment:

As I reflect back over the last year, I am so thankful for many blessings.

One blessing I want to share is the birth of my granddaughter. One year ago, my daughter went into labor with her first child, and things were going very smoothly until she was getting ready to start pushing.

I left the birthing room and went to the waiting room. As I was sitting there with all kinds of dreams about my future with my first grandchild, my wife came into the waiting room with a very worried look on her face. We heard that there was an emergency in obstetrics, and we saw staff running in from everywhere.

Mike Boyd enjoys some cuddle time with his granddaughter.

We waited for more than an hour, and finally asked someone to check on our daughter. They told us that our daughter was in recovery and we could not see her until she wakes up. At that point, my wife and I were scared to death. We tried not to lose control.

Then, our son-in-law showed up with our granddaughter, and my wife and I both cried at the sight of her.

Our son-in-law told us that our daughter “crashed” during delivery and they had to do an emergency cesarean section. He told her that we would have to wait to see our daughter, but we could hold our grandbaby. So we did.

I was the first person to rock her to sleep, singing “You Are My Sunshine” over and over.

She was so precious, so beautiful, and so very small.

Later, the nurses told us we could go see our daughter. When we walked into the recovery room, my daughter said, “Thank you, Daddy. You saved my life, and now your grandbaby will know her mother. I know now why you love your job.”

That’s when I saw a unit of American Red Cross blood hanging beside her bed, being transfused, and I couldn’t help but cry again.

Blood drives this week honor Asheville woman

In June 2008, Heather Reid lost her courageous fight with cancer. During her illness, she received multiple blood products. While pregnant with daughter Kylie, Heather underwent chemotherapy, which suppressed Kylie’s bone marrow. Kylie was born six weeks early and also received multiple blood and platelet products. Kylie is now a healthy four and a half year old girl.

“We want to honor Heather and give back to the community at the same time, because doing for others is exactly what she did,” said Heather’s husband Jim Reid. “Even if people didn’t know her, it’s important to understand how critical blood products were to prolong Heather’s life and allow Kylie a chance to survive,” said Reid. “You never know when you or your family member will need blood like they did, and you can’t just assume the blood will be there.”

Nine American Red Cross blood drives will be held in memory of Reid this week. The drives come as the Red Cross faces a critical blood shortage. Although the number of blood donations has increased since issued an emergency appeal for blood donors in June, the situation remains tenuous and more donors are needed to ensure an adequate supply is available through the end of the summer.

Blood drives are scheduled for:

AUGUST 6:

Chili’s Grill & Bar in Hickory, 2181 US Highway 70, Hickory, NC 28602
12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Appointments: 828-328-8447

Chili’s Grill & Bar in Boone, 1934 Blowing Rock Road, Boone, NC 28607
1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Appointments: 828-266-9626

AUGUST 7:
Chili’s Grill & Bar in Forest City, 128 Sparks Crossing, Forest City, NC 28403
1:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. – Appointments: 828-286-0008

AUGUST 8:
Chili’s Grill & Bar in Arden, 420 Airport Road, Arden, NC 28704
12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Appointments: 828-684-5067

Chili’s Grill & Bar in Gastonia, 3086 East Franklin Boulevard, Gastonia, NC 28056
1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Appointments: 704-867-0276

AUGUST 9:
Chili’s Grill & Bar in Asheville, 253 Tunnel Road, Asheville, NC 28805
11:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. – Appointments: 828-252-4999

Chili’s Grill & Bar in Charlotte, 8164 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC 28273
1:30 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Appointments: 704-583-5490

First United Methodist Church-Waynesville, 566 S. Haywood Street, Waynesville, NC 28786
1:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. – Appointments: 828-734-6616

AUGUST 10:
Chili’s Grill & Bar in Monroe, 2861 West Highway 74, Monroe, NC 28110
12:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. – Appointments: 704-225-8499

The Red Cross Carolinas Blood Services Region provides blood to 103 hospitals and must have 1,600 people give blood and platelets each weekday to meet patient needs. Accident victims as well as patients with cancer, sickle cell disease, blood disorders and other illnesses receive lifesaving transfusions every day. There is no substitute for blood and volunteer donors are the only source.

Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood. Donors who are 18 and younger must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org.

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Celebrating World Blood Donor Day

George Lucas gives blood on June 14, World Blood Donor Day.

George Lucas started donating blood several years ago.

“I know there’s a need, and I know not enough people donate blood,” he said in the donor center in Charlotte, NC.

In fact, only 8 percent of the eligible population donates blood.

“That’s not enough,” George said.

George was one of many people to visit the Charlotte donor center on Thursday in honor of World Blood Donor Day. Currently, the American Red Cross has an urgent need for blood types O positive and negative, B negative and A negative.

George is blood type O postitive.

“I’m glad I can help someone,” he said.

Donors who give now through June 17 will receive a limited edition Nexcare bandage. In addition, donors who give at either the Charlotte or Huntersville donor centers will receive a $25 restaurant.com gift card.

Individuals who are 17 years of age, 16 with parental permission, weigh at least 110 pounds and are generally in 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. Eligible donors can call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or go online to redcross.org for more information and to make a blood donation appointment.

World Blood Donor Day

With no substitute for human blood, those in need rely on the kindness of volunteer donors. To raise awareness and inspire action about this cause, Nexcare Bandages, in partnership with the Red Cross and supermodel Niki Taylor, announce the fourth annual Nexcare give program. This nationwide initiative shines a light on the World Health Organization’s World Blood Donor Day on June 14 by thanking those who give blood and encouraging others to get involved.

Taylor, a longtime supporter of the Red Cross, became committed to raising awareness about blood donation after her own experience as a patient in need in 2001. Taylor received 100 units of life-saving blood after a near-fatal car accident, and attributes her survival to the donors and doctors who helped save her life.

 “I am proud and honored to be involved in the Nexcare give program, and I hope that by sharing my personal story about how Red Cross blood donors saved my life, I can inspire people around the country to get involved,” said Taylor. “I encourage everyone to roll up a sleeve on World Blood Donor Day this year and give.”

New for 2012, Nexcare Brand will be giving away limited edition bandages inspired by iconic trends from decades past, adorned with the word “give” to demonstrate that “Giving Blood is Timeless.”

The limited-edition Nexcare give Bandages will be distributed at Red Cross donor centers and blood drives nationwide beginning today, Monday, June 11 and throughout that week, leading up to World Blood Donor Day on June 14.

Additionally, participants will receive a $25 restaurant.com gift card when they present to donate blood or platelets June 14-17, 2012, at an American Red Cross blood donation center.

To pledge to support blood donation, request free Nexcare give Bandages and enter for a chance to win a trip for two to New York City, visit Nexcaregive.com or text “give” to 34426.*

By donating early in the season, blood donors in our community can donate two or more times during the summer months, helping ensure blood is available for patients throughout this critical time. There are thousands of people in our community who will NOT make it a priority to donate blood this summer; the Red Cross asks if you will find the hero in you and help save lives. 

Most healthy people age 17 and older, or 16 with parental consent, who weigh at least 110 pounds, are eligible to donate blood and platelets. Donors who are 18 and younger and all high school students must also meet specific height and weight requirements.

For more information about blood donation or to schedule an appointment to donate, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Call 1-877-975-2835 to make an appointment to donate platelets.