Friday, April 4, local friends of fallen U.S. Marine Jacob Hess will honor him with a lifesaving donation drive. People are encouraged to donate blood, join the marrow registry and sign up to be an organ/tissue donor at the Rock River Valley Blood Center’s Perryville Donor Center, 3065 N. Perryville Road from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hess was a dedicated whole blood donor. On his 18th birthday, he began donating platelets and joined the Be The Match Marrow Registry. Soon thereafter, Hess received the call that he was the perfect marrow match for a patient in need. He became the lifesaving donor to leukemia patient Crystal Osha of Orlando, Fla.
Jan. 1, 2014, Hess was killed while serving in the United States Marine Corps in Afghanistan. As a tribute to his giving nature and heroism, family and friends around the country are organizing donor drives in Hess’ memory. Fellow Marine families from the Rockford area are helping to organize the event locally.
Each donor will receive a post card to note their commitment to donation that will be mailed to Hess’ family.
Donating blood is safe and simple. You are most likely able to donate if you are at least 17 years old (16-year-olds may donate with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in general good health. People taking medications are not necessarily disqualified.
To join Rock River Valley Blood Center’s (RRVBC) Be The Match marrow donor registry, you must be between the ages of 18 and 44, and must complete a registration form and provide contact information, health history, cheek swabs and a signed agreement to join the Registry.
To sign up for the Illinois Secretary of State Organ/Tissue Donor Registry, you must be 18 years old. Visit https://www.ilsos.gov/organdonorregister/ for more details.
The RRVBC serves as a centralized, community blood center and is the sole provider of blood products and services to Beloit Memorial Hospital, Edgerton Hospital and Health Services, FHN, OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center, Rochelle Community Hospital, Rockford Health System, SwedishAmerican Health System and SwedishAmerican Medical Center — Belvidere.
For more information or to make an appointment to donate blood, call toll-free at 877-RRVBC-99 or find RRVBC on the web at www.rrvbc.org.
From the April 2-8, 2014 issue