The Great Chicago Blood Drive is just days away. One group planning to come out and give the gift of life, once again, is "Karen's Krew." They're donating in honor of a friend they love dearly.
ABC7 Eyewitness News first introduced viewers to Karen Fielder in 2016, as she shared her story of gratitude for those who donated blood after she was diagnosed with leukemia.
"It's crazy. I can't believe two years has gone by that I've been in remission. But it's a great feeling knowing that I'm close to two years, because at two years my odds improve that it won't come back," Fielder said.
Fielder and her family have been taking things one day at a time - and take nothing for granted.
"Health-wise, I get stronger every day. I'm still tired sometimes, but oh gosh, I'll take being tired a little bit anytime over what I had. So that's something I can definitely live with," FieIder said. "Definitely can't complain about it. I think it's about understanding the value of life."
Family and friends have been a support system for her, helping in any way they could. They even teamed up to form "Karen's Krew."
"Since I am not able to donate blood right now, it's getting the message out and having people understand that it takes less than an hour of your time to donate and you can save people's lives. It's such a selfless act and it's really not a hard thing to do," Fielder said.
Karen said the "Krew" is already preparing to donate at this year's blood drive.
"I've gotten some texts from some people saying they are going to be at the different (locations). I sent the link and information to people, so hopefully we'll get some more people to come back this year. I think we will," Fielder said.
The ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive will be held Jan. 10 at two locations -- Merchandise Mart, 222 W. Merchandise Mart Plaza in Chicago; and at the Drake Oak Brook Hotel, 2301 York Rd. in Oak Brook. Hours at both sites are 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Register by calling 1-800-Red-Cross or by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org (enter sponsor code: "ABC7Chicago")
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