Blood donations through the American Red Cross help millions of patients in need. In fact, every two seconds, someone in the United States needs blood. It might be a family member or friend. It might be someone like five-year-old Irelynn Rose, of Statesboro, Georgia.
INSPIRATION FROM IRELYNN Irelynn loves to sing, fish and wear fancy clothes. She is a sweet and spunky girl with an infectious smile. She is also something else – brave – as she battles a health crisis that most kids her age don’t have to face. Irelynn lives with a rare blood disorder called Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA). There currently is no cure, so she must endure blood transfusions every three weeks as part of her treatment. Irelynn has already received more than 80 blood transfusions.
“Above all, we continue to be thankful. We are thankful for another three weeks to have Irelynn,” said Irelynn’s dad Nick Rose. “Our biggest thank you is to the blood donors...for selflessly giving our daughter the precious gift of three more weeks of life.”
Irelynn is a pre-kindergarten student at Statesboro High School. Recently the school held its first blood drive in her honor, collecting more than 100 units of lifesaving blood.
“We could never express how much blood donors mean to us,” said Rose. “We are beyond grateful! Anytime we see a blood drive, we will stop so Irelynn can go inside and thank donors personally.”
HOW TO DONATE To help patients like Irelynn, blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most 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.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Donors can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, which is free and available for download now. It can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download. Message and data rates for texting may apply.