Local mother grateful for blood donors

Community encouraged to give blood in honor of Dina Bearrows


ROCHELLE — The American Red Cross is joining family and friends to host a blood drive in honor of Dina Bearrows, Friday, June 5, from 1 to 6 p.m. at Rochelle Kennay Farms Distilling, 416 Lincoln Highway, in Rochelle. 

In Feb. 2017, Bearrows was diagnosed with hodgkin’s lymphoma. Hodgkin’s lymphoma, also known as HL, is a type of lymphoma in which cancer originates from a specific type of white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Her cancer journey required many blood and plasma transfusions, chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.  Her fight to win the battle against cancer wouldn’t have been possible without the generosity of volunteer donors.  

On June 26, 2018, Bearrows was told she was cancer free and now wants to take the time to thank the Red Cross and Kennay Farms Distilling for hosting this blood drive. 

“I am so grateful for all donors past, present and future and applaud everyone who is involved in their continued efforts for this important cause, especially during the uncertain times we are in,” she said. 

This drive comes as the Red Cross encourages healthy individuals to schedule and keep blood donation appointments in the weeks ahead to ensure a stable supply for patients throughout this coronavirus pandemic. All donors are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

Blood donation is essential to ensuring the health of the community. As experts have emphasized, there is no certain end date in this fight against coronavirus, and the Red Cross needs the help of blood donors to maintain a sufficient blood supply for weeks to come. Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face masks for donors and staff – have been implemented to ensure the health of Red Cross donors, employees and volunteers. 

Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect nearly 13,000 blood and more than 2,600 platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.

“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Janet Jarvis, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We take for granted that blood will be at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors. Giving blood in Dina’s name is a wonderful way to honor this incredible lady and potentially help others with this condition.”

How to donate blood

Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.