The community is invited to give blood in honor of Carlos “CJ” Moreno at a special American Red Cross blood drive from 1-7 p.m. Wednesday at Jean Shepherd Community Center, 3031 Mahoney Drive in Hammond.
Three-year-old CJ Moreno loves playing soccer and basketball and enjoys bike riding. He was recently diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant. Throughout his treatment, CJ has received blood transfusions on a regular basis and may need more as treatment continues.
The Moreno family hopes the community will give blood in his honor. “We would like to spread awareness of the need for cures for childhood cancer and the need to donate blood and bone marrow,” said Yvonne Postelmans, CJ’s grandmother.
“Hosting this blood drive in his name is a wonderful way to honor CJ and help patients in need,” said Lori Caputo, recruitment manager for the Red Cross Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region.
In addition to a blood drive, this event also will have opportunities for individuals to register as bone marrow donors through Be the Match. Postelmans has already recruited more than 250 bone marrow donors in CJ’s name since January. You can follow more of CJ’s story at Facebook.com/KeepCJStrong.
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 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, prior to arriving at the blood drive. To get started and learn more, visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.