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Blood Drives Scheduled In Conjunction With LaughFest To Benefit Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

Michigan Blood and Blue Care Network partner for fourth year in a row to support Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids


It’s often said laughter is the best medicine. Unfortunately for many, laughter simply isn’t enough. So for the fourth year in a row, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids (GCGR) and LaughFest are partnering with Michigan Blood and Blue Care Network to host blood drives leading up to LaughFest. The drives will be held February 29-March 3, 2016.

“We are thankful for this partnership with Michigan Blood and Blue Care Network,” said Wendy Wigger, president, Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. “Many cancer patients rely on blood product transfusions. Donating blood is a great way for loved ones, and even complete strangers, to make a real difference in the health of patients in need.”

For every person that donates blood, Blue Care Network (BCN) will donate $5 towards LaughFest’s High Five campaign, which supports the free emotional healthcare, cancer, and grief support programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids. Individuals interested in donating directly to the “High Five” campaign may do so at www.laughfestgr.org.

“Hundreds of Michigan patients are in need of blood every single day,” said Jessica Iloff, manager of community responsibility at Blue Care Network. “Whether they suffered an accident or are receiving treatment for cancer, these patients depend on lifesaving transfusions. Blue Care Network is happy to partner with Gilda’s Club and Michigan Blood each year to make it convenient for LaughFest attendees to provide blood to those who need it most.”

Donors will also receive a t-shirt, along with a chance to win tickets to see Michael Palascak, Roy Wood Jr., and other hilarious LaughFest shows.

Please visit one of the following locations for your chance to save a life, support Gilda’s Club and share some laughter.

Grand Rapids Donor Center
1036 Fuller NE, Grand Rapid
Monday, February 29, 9 am – 7 pm

Grandville Donor Center
Grandville United Methodist Church
3140 Wilson Avenue SE
Thursday, March 3, 12:00 – 7:00pm

Michigan Blood wants to remind the public that they are the sole provider of blood and blood products for the majority of hospitals in Michigan, including Spectrum Health, Metro Health, and Mercy Health Saint Mary’s. Donations that are given outside of Michigan Blood do not stay local nor have a direct impact in your local community. Donate blood at Michigan Blood and help save the lives of patients in Michigan hospitals. Any healthy person 17 or older (or 16 with parental consent) who weighs at least 110 pounds may be eligible to donate. Blood donors should bring photo ID. For additional information on donating blood, and to make an appointment, visit https://donate.miblood.org.

About Michigan Blood

Founded in 1955, Michigan Blood is a fast growing, independent, non-profit blood bank headquartered in Grand Rapids. It provides blood products and services for more than 50 hospitals throughout Michigan and is an established leader in quality and service. Michigan Blood collects more than 125,000 units of blood each year at nine permanent donation sites and more than 3,600 mobile blood drives in 40 counties statewide. Michigan Blood has a nationally recognized stem cell (marrow) program and created Michigan’s first public cord blood bank. In addition, Michigan Blood provides therapeutic apheresis, cellular therapies for the treatment of cancer and transfusion medicine consultations. For more information, visit www.miblood.org.

About Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids

Gilda's Club Grand Rapids is a free cancer and grief support community of children, adults, families and friends. Its comprehensive program includes education, structured sharing times, networking, lectures, workshops and social activities. Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids is the largest and busiest of the 52 affiliates in North America. The organization runs entirely on charitable donations and currently serves more than 10,000 individuals each year at its clubhouses in Grand Rapids and Lowell, Mich., in various schools and in five community centers. For more information, visit http://www.gildasclubgr.org.

About Blue Care Network
Blue Care Network of Michigan features award-winning disease management programs and the largest HMO network of physicians and hospitals in the state, with more than 5,000 primary care physicians, 16,000 specialists and most of the state’s leading hospitals. Blue Care Network is the affiliated HMO of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more company information, visit bcbsm.com and mibluesperspectives.com.