Red Cross Month is a time to recognize the nation’s everyday heroes who in some way help their community by giving of themselves. Many families nationwide are touched by the spirit of these heroes each day through different American Red Cross programs and services.
One Nebraska family will always be grateful for the generosity of Red Cross volunteer blood donors and the men and women in the Service to Armed Forces program.
MEET THE ROUX FAMILY Jenny Roux of Omaha, Neb., would describe her son Blake as one in a million—and he truly was. Blake was born with a rare and serious chromosome disorder that causes multiple abnormalities.
The Roux family's connection with the Red Cross began on the day of Blake's birth. Blake received two units of blood that day during surgery, as did Roux, who suffered complications during the delivery.
Roux knew that her time with her precious baby would be short, but she credits two more major surgeries and multiple blood transfusions with extending his life.
"Without the blood transfusions, I don't know that he would have even had the 10 months we had with him," she said. Roux cherished every moment she had with her son before he passed away in February 2011.
At that point Roux again turned to the Red Cross. Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces provided emergency communications about Blake's death to her husband, who was deployed to Iraq.
"Working through the Red Cross was the only way to get my husband home quickly when he was needed most," said Roux.
"The Red Cross helps so many people," she said. "It will always hold a special place in my heart."
INSPIRING OTHERS Blake’s memory lives on in the circle of family and friends who were touched by his tiny face and bright spirit. By sharing their story, the Roux family reminds people that donating blood makes a huge difference in the lives of those going through treatment for various illnesses and injuries. Every two seconds in the U.S., a patient just like Blake needs blood, and a family is relying on the generosity of Red Cross blood donors to help.
HOW TO GIVE For more information about donating blood, or to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets, please visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767). Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), 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.