The American Red Cross is facing a national blood crisis – its worst blood shortage in over a decade, posing a concerning risk to patient care.
The American Red Cross of Illinois hosts blood drives every day across the nation to help meet the needs of people in hospitals across the country who need blood to live, including many blood drives in the Illinois Region. Some long-standing blood drives have been held in communities for many years, with local people coming out regularly to donate every 56 days, as often as one can.
The Morrison, IL area blood drive is one of those regular drives that comes about in line with the frequency that a person can donate and its appointments are faithfully filled by members of that community.
Volunteer Blood Drive Coordinator Kaywyn Beswick has been leading the blood drive since 2009, and it’s transformed into more than just a blood collection spot. Especially before the COVID-19 outbreak, the blood drive was more of a consistent social gathering every 56 days where friends could meet and talk and enjoy food together between rolling up their sleeves.
A life-long registered nurse and yoga instructor, Beswick is committed to cultivating this highly successful drive with recognitions and helping donors understand the importance of blood donation. Each one can help save up to three lives, and Beswick believes that should always be celebrated with bells and cheers.
Recently, ten donors were awarded with milestone pins at the January 20th drive at St. Mary Catholic Church:
2 gallons: Trish Kingery, Kelly Smith
3 gallons: Jill Bramm, Mark Bramm, Bryan Vogel
7 gallons: Harvey Tegeler
8 gallons: Stephanie Vavra, Randy Kuehl
15 gallons: Pam Shank
26 gallons: Bill Kuehl
A thumbs up from Bill Kuehl on his donation making him a 26 gallon donor!
Eighty-year-old Lyle Bush was recognized for making his 233rd blood donation, nearly 30 gallons of blood!
And among all these milestones, Kaywyn made her 100th donation that day!
The Red Cross is proud to celebrate every donation and every blood type as we continue to face a national blood shortage. The Red Cross asks the country to roll up a sleeve to help ensure people receive the care they need. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets as soon as possible by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767)
Blood donations are needed now to meet the needs of accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. You can also make an appointment in the days and weeks ahead to ensure the Red Cross can replenish and then maintain a sufficient blood supply.
Written by American Red Cross Illinois Region Communications Manager, Holly Baker