Josh Blauser

Josh Blauser. (Submitted Photo)

BELLVILLE — The community is invited to give blood in memory of Josh Blauser at a special American Red Cross blood drive Wednesday, July 1 from 1 to 7 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Bellville.

A junior at Clear Fork High, Josh passed away from SUDEP (sudden unexpected death from Epilepsy), which caused a seizure in February 2017. He was active in his school’s soccer and tennis teams and marching band. He hoped to one day enter the medical profession. He is remembered as a happy, positive and good-spirited friend.

The Blauser family invites the community to give blood in Josh’s honor.

“Josh had a heart of gold and the will of a lion,” said Josh's mother Dawn Blauser. “He loved to have fun with his friends and make others laugh. He was interested in the medical profession, so hosting a blood drive in his name is a perfect fit.” 

“Hosting this blood drive in his name is a wonderful way to remember Josh and help patients in need,” added Kelly Beck, donor recruitment manager for the Red Cross.

This is the fourth blood drive held in memory of Josh. The first three drives resulted in 208 donations. This year, organizers seek 60 donations.

This blood drive comes as the Red Cross has an ongoing need for blood donations amidst coronavirus uncertainties. The Red Cross is now testing all blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies for a limited time, providing donors insight into whether they have been exposed to this coronavirus. Donors who help support the urgent need by giving at this drive will be able to view their results 7-10 days after donation through the Red Cross Blood Donor App or at RedCrossBlood.org.

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 14,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide.

All those who come to donate May 1 to August 31 in the Central Ohio Region will receive a coupon for buy one get one free entry to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, and be entered into a weekly drawing for four tickets to Zoombezi Bay through July 31. 

Additional safety precautions

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and  additional precautions  – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are  asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a  face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with  Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  public guidance. 

How to donate blood

Simply download the American 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.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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