The ABC7 Great Chicago Blood Drive

ABC 7 Chicago is partnering with the American Red Cross for The ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive, Wednesday, January 16.

New this year, The ABC 7 Great Chicago Blood Drive will take place at three locations: the Merchandise Mart, 222 West Merchandise Mart Plaza, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; the Drake Oak Brook Hotel, 2301 York Road, Oak Brook, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and the new location CDW in Vernon Hills, from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.

ABC 7 Eyewitness News Meteorologist Cheryl Scott will lead ABC 7's coverage of blood drive events underscoring the critical need for blood and encouraging viewers to donate.

According to John Idler, President and General Manager, ABC 7, "Every year since we have joined forces with the American Red Cross, blood donations have increased and lives have been saved. It's a rewarding team effort and that makes us all very proud."

Cheryl Scott is currently on the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago & Northern Illinois. January is National Blood Donor Month.
Here are some of the stories that viewers can expect to see leading up to the drive that give clarity to the reasons giving blood is so crucial.

ABC 7 Eyewitness News shares the story of brother and sister team helping to spread awareness through their non-profit, "Sick Cells." Marqus was diagnosed with sickle cell anemia, when he was 6 months old. Marqus says he's relied on blood transfusions all his life.

ABC 7 Eyewitness News talks to Nicole Stevenson who, after graduating from Eastern Illinois University, developed a rare form of leukemia at 23 years old. The intense treatment she received included 10 blood transfusions. She credits strangers giving blood as the reason her life was saved.

"Winter is a challenging time to collect blood donations to meet the constant need, with school being out of session and many donors getting busy with the holidays," said Celena Roldán, chief executive officer of the Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross. "With another year of devastating disasters, blood collection is even more important. Donating blood is a meaningful way people can help, even if they don't live in disaster affected areas. We greatly appreciate the partnership with ABC 7 to share this message of need."

Inclement weather and seasonal illnesses often result in fewer blood donations during the winter -- but cancer patients, trauma victims and surgery patients don't get a winter break. A successful blood drive on January 16 will go a long way to avoid a shortage this time of year and ensure that these and others patients have the blood products they need. Donors of all blood types are important at the drive, particularly O negative, A negative and B negative. Each day, the Red Cross needs 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country. The entire donation process takes about an hour. Everyone who attempts to donate will receive a commemorative T-shirt and refreshments.

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org. Eligible donors are encouraged to make an appointment to donate at the Red Cross Blood Drive, but walk-ins are also welcome.

Appointments can be made by downloading the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org (enter sponsor code: ABC7Chicago) or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment prior to the drive or for more information. All blood types are needed. 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), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health, may be eligible to donate blood.

Blood donors can now 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

Other media partners include iHeartMedia and Univision.

Additionally, Follow us on Facebook and on Twitter and share your blood drive photos with us using #ABC7BloodDrive.

For general information about giving blood, eligibility requirements etc., please go to: http://www.redcrossblood.org/.
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