Smoke alarms installed to save lives in Fayetteville

Every night in the Eastern North Carolina Region of the Red Cross, about five house fires occur, leaving families helpless, confused and alone.

Nearly 300 Red Cross volunteers gathered in Fayetteville in September to install free smoke alarms in homes of military members and their neighbors.  The effort is part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign – an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent in five years. To date, the campaign has saved 111 lives across the country.29736367751_a2d1cabf14_z

“Brave men and woman of our military work every day to make sure we are safe in our homes,” said Barry Porter, CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern N.C. “We want to return the favor and protect them in their own homes with new smoke alarms.”

Four Red Cross volunteers visited the home of Cory Hall, an active-duty military member and former firefighter. The team installed four smoke alarms and tested his existing alarms. Because of the newly installed alarms, Hall said he feels confident his family is safe in their home should a fire start.

Hall’s neighborhood also welcomed Red Cross teams. Timothy Smith and his family received four alarms. He let out a sigh of relief as they were installed.

“We don’t have smoke alarms in our home, and I know that we need them,” Smith said. “I want them installed for my kids. My kids’ safety is the most important thing to me.”29191537124_f6dd73f18f_z

The event was made possible by sponsors: Nationwide-Sean Fincher and Nationwide-Mike Warren; Merrill Lynch, Wright Cobb Tilghman Group; Healy Wholesale Co.. Inc.; and Fayetteville Technical Community College.

For more information about smoke alarm installations or how to create a home fire escape plan, visit  redcross.org/fire.

To see video footage from the smoke alarm installation event, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt0e8RyTedE&feature=youtu.be

Story by Emma Kirkpatrick.

 

Red Cross makes plea for blood donors to help summer shortage

CBS, iHeartMedia Raleigh partner for Rock & Roll Up Your Sleeve blood drive Aug. 30

RALEIGH, N.C. (August 18, 2016) — A summer blood shortage has led to an emergency callCBSNC-Flier-Socialfor blood donors, and the American Red Cross is teaming up with CBS North Carolina and iHeartRadio to address the need.

Donors can help save lives at the Rock & Roll Up Your Sleeve blood drive on Tuesday, Aug. 30 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Crabtree Valley Mall, 4325 Glenwood Ave. in Raleigh. The blood drive will be located on the lower level below the food court.

All presenting donors will receive a Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last, and a $5 Amazon gift card code, in addition to the chance to win door prizes.

Blood donors are needed to help patients like five-month-old Camden Minnick, who was born six weeks early in an emergency C-section. He needed a blood transfusion right away.

“I kissed him on the cheek and then they whisked him away for a blood transfusion,” said his mother, Carrie Minnick, of Apex. “His first act in life was to receive blood.”

Camden was diagnosed with a life-threatening blood disease called hemophagocytic CamdenMinnicklymphohistiocytosis (HLH). With HLH, if the immune system gets turned on, it leads to uncontrolled inflammation causing damage to vital organs. Although considered rare, the number of cases diagnosed increases as physicians’ awareness increases. Camden has received multiple platelet and blood transfusions—sometimes several a day—while awaiting a bone marrow transplant. He received his transplant July 19 at UNC Children’s, but he will need to be closely monitored for one year to ensure his recovery.

Carrie and Charlie Minnick are grateful for blood, platelet, and bone marrow donors for playing a lifesaving role in their son’s life. The experience has changed the way Carrie thinks about donation.

“You’re literally saving someone’s life. I didn’t realize that until my son’s life became dependent on donors,” she said.

Representatives from Be The Match will be at the blood drive to raise awareness on the importance of bone marrow donors for patients in need. For thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia or other diseases like sickle cell anemia, a marrow transplant is their only hope for life. Patients need a matching tissue type which is inherited and is different from a blood type match. These patients often rely on lifesaving blood donations while waiting for a marrow donor match. Those ages 18 to 44 can register to be added to the Be The Match marrow registry by completing a cheek swab.

The Rock & Roll Up Your Sleeve blood drive comes during the difficult summer months, a time when many regular donors postpone giving blood due to vacation plans and summer activities. Although many people have answered the Red Cross’ call for donations, the already constrained blood supply has yet to recover, while patient need for blood products has remained steady. Right now, blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

As a result of the decrease in blood donations, the Red Cross now has less than a five-day blood supply on hand. The Red Cross strives to keep a five-day supply on hand at all times to meet the needs of patients every day and be prepared for emergencies that would require significant volumes of donated blood products.

“In an emergency, it’s the blood donations already on the shelves that make a difference,” said Barry Porter, Red Cross CEO for the Eastern North Carolina Region. “Donations are urgently needed now to help save lives. If you’ve been thinking about giving blood, now is the time to do it to prepare for the emergencies that are yet to happen in someone’s life.”

Donors are strongly encouraged to schedule an appointment for the blood drive by visiting redcrossblood.org and entering sponsor code “Crabtree,” calling 1-800-RED CROSS or downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App. Walk-ins are also welcome.

The blood drive is sponsored by CBS North Carolina, 95X, WRDU Classic Rock 100.7, G105, Crabtree Valley Mall, Summit Hospitality Group and Be the Match.

Items and offers are nontransferable and are not redeemable for cash. Available while supplies last.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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 (16 with parental consent in some 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.

Blood donors can now 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.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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.

‘The Gift’

By Desirée Kettler

At the age of 13, Dave Kettler was diagnosed with a blood disorder that was later
identified as Myelofibrosis (MF). This is a chronic blood cancer in which excessive scar
tissue forms in the bone marrow and impairs its ability to produce normal blood cells.
Over time, MF takes over the bone marrow, essentially destroying the body’s blood
factory. It’s a slow denigration, so Dave was able to live a normal life. I know how normal his life was, because it was my life too. We were together for 30 years, with 28 of them as husband and wife.

1978 Dave & Desiree Engaged

My name is Desirée. Together, Dave and I had two healthy sons, demanding jobs, and all the normal routines o f life as a thriving family. Dave was an anomaly in that his MF hadn’t caused changes in lifestyle except for quarterly visits with Duke hematology doctors  to monitor his MF, and an enlarging spleen. In fact, Dave’s doctors couldn’t understand why he was as healthy as he was.

They knew his greatly enlarged spleen was doing the work of the failing bone marrow
and hypothesized that this spleen take-over was indeed what kept Dave living his
normal life! Dave and I knew that one day he would need a bone marrow transplant
because the spleen could not continue in this function forever. It too would eventually
fail. So, we prepared for that inevitability and found a perfect bone marrow match in
one of Dave’s brothers. At that point, it was just a matter of time. Eventually his
monitored blood counts would help the doctors decide it was time to move forward
with the transplant. That was The Plan.

2005 Superman
But then it happened. The journey toward Dave’s bone marrow transplant was put on
hold Thanksgiving week of 2004 when Dave called to me from across the house and I found him in a cold sweat, with severe abdominal pain. Having attended every appointment with Dave over our decades together, I knew I had to get him to the closest hospital as quickly as possible, so I promptly drove him to our local hospital. He was later transported to Duke once it was determined his MF was in part causing Dave’s pain. His hematology/oncology doctors hypothesized that Dave’s spleen had a
laceration. Within a few days, the spleen’s self-healing characteristic eliminated the threat of surgery. He was to be discharged Thanksgiving morning (such an a propos name to the day for the Kettler family).

However, late the night before, Dave’s fight with MF took a much more critical turn when he pressed the nurse call button. The start to a very hard-fought three years for Dave and our family was just beginning. An enlarged spleen meant the splenic vein was also enlarged. Instead of this vein being approximately the diameter of your little finger, it was the diameter of a golf ball. This vein ruptured, sending Dave into a horrible fight for his life when he went into an all systems failure: “code blue”. In order to save Dave’s life, the surgeon had to remove his spleen, the organ that was sustaining his normal lifestyle. Unfortunately, the interruption of blood flow from the code blue caused extensive damage throughout Dave’s body, including the organ failures associated with a code blue shut down, specifically his liver and kidneys. There was also great concern as to his neurologic function ~ would there be ANY?

Beginning with that initial emergency surgery on Thanksgiving Eve when Dave received over 200 units of blood products, to the next 15 surgeries and procedures where he received well over 320+ units of blood products, Dave continued to fight a most courageous health battle. Indeed, our family called him “The Warrior.” That battle could NOT have been waged without whole blood, platelets, and fresh frozen plasma! Without the benefit of a good “blood factory” within his own body, he had to rely on the blood products from blood banks. Each and every procedure and operation required transfusions and “the gift of life!”

 
I was a blood donor before I knew Dave. However, when my life was turned upside down during Dave’s 33-month battle, my resolve to give to the Red Cross became a lifelong dedication. During Dave’s 300+ inpatient days, he would not have survived that initial CRASH on Thanksgiving Eve or any of the other 15 surgeries, without the benefits of receiving blood and blood products made possible through the Red Cross. When friends and family asked what they could do to help, I always directed them to give blood or make a monetary donation to the Red Cross! They were giving Dave, and others like him, the gift of life.

The medical community at Duke University Medical Center nicknamed Dave The Miracle Man, because each of the many times he wasn’t expected to make it through the night, he did. When they thought he wouldn’t have brain function, he did. When his body experienced major atrophy, losing 80 pounds he couldn’t afford to lose anddamaging every body system, he still continued to fight. Dave couldn’t walk or talk or move, but his will to live was strong. Each goal put in front of him was met with great resolve to conquer that goal. One of his Duke doctors summed up Dave’s resolve when he said in response to my astonishment at Dave’s success after being removed from the ventilator, “He has SO MUCH to live FOR!” My eyes filled with tears at the realization that the doctors understood the richness of our life and how much that was motivating Dave. His desire to communicate through words and actions pushed him in therapies that were difficult, but he never complained. Subsequent surgeries always presented great risks. Because of Dave’s frail condition, there was always the warning he may not survive, but he did primarily because of blood products from the Red Cross. It was this combination of the gift of life and Dave’s will to live that allowed his many discharges. He returned to our life of rich experiences and life away from the hospital. Once again, he attended our youngest son’s football games over the span of several seasons. We attended our oldest son’s college graduation. Dave got to know our oldest son’s lovely lady ~ who would later become his wife. We even managed a family vacation to the west coast to welcome a new nephew into our family. Dave took every opportunity to enjoy birthdays, anniversaries, holidays and parties big and small. Not only did he cherish those opportunities to make memories, so too did his family and friends who rejoiced in his courage and resolve to get well enough to finally have that bone marrow transplant!

But in the end, the cumulative damage done to Dave’s body through the organ failures, multiple surgeries and the breakdown of his body took their toll, especially in regard to his lungs. After 2 very serious lung surgeries, his body was no longer able to heal and he was in respiratory failure. Dave began his heartfelt goodbyes with me. We talked of our life and love and he was quick to tell me I was “the best thing that had ever come into his life.” He then took time to talk to our sons about the joy and pride he had in them, saying they were “the biggest accomplishments of his life.” He urged us to go on living and loving and to find happiness. There wasn’t time to bring people to North Carolina from our home states, so Dave said good-bye to family and dearest friends by phone. One day later, after those goodbyes and surrounded by his family, our Warrior, my husband, David Charles Kettler passed away on August 8, 2007. He was 51 years young.

Throughout my life, I’ve often heard people say when referring to losing someone they love, “I wish we could have just one more day.” On that horrible Thanksgiving night in 2004, I was told Dave might only live another 15 minutes. However, through the generosity of blood donors, he lived 1,041 “more days”! He got 1,041 more days to be a loving husband, a wise and supportive father, an accomplished youngest brother, a generous uncle, a helpful brother-in-law, a caring nephew, a respected son-in-law and a cherished friend. Anonymous donors extended his life, giving him time to make everlasting memories with all of us who loved him so deeply.

2007 2-Ryans Bday Feb

Because this great gift of 1,041 days was given to us, my sons and I are blood donors. We consider it a “paying it forward” act of generosity. It is our hope that by donating blood we are giving another family the gift we were given, time with our loved one. It is for people like Dave that we continue to tell these incredible stories about the lifesaving and life changing effects your blood donations to the American Red Cross create. Give the gift of life.

To give the gift of life, visit redcrossblood.org. 

Critical blood shortage: Red Cross urges blood and platelet donors to give now

The American Red Cross has an emergency need for blood and platelet doRay Poulin photonations, and you’re needed now.

A life like Ray Poulin’s could be on the line. His liver and kidneys failed following a serious blood infection. The situation became urgent when Ray’s liver hemorrhaged. He was given a 10 percent chance of survival. After receiving 77 units of blood, Ray defied the odds.

“There was a lot that went into saving my life, but if the blood wasn’t available when I needed it, I wouldn’t be here today.”

The Red Cross is facing a critical situation right now. Donors of all blood types are urgently needed to help restock the shelves. The Red Cross is thanking those who come in to donate blood or platelets between now and Aug. 31 by emailing them a $5 Amazon.com gift card claim code.

Please give now and help someone like Ray beat the odds. Make an appointment to give blood or platelets by downloading the free Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Army veteran honored for 30 years of service to Red Cross

By Brittany Jennings

Command Sergeant Major (Ret) Glenn Lane, of Fayetteville, N.C., was wounded three times in the Korean War. He took bullets to the chest and stomach in

Glenn Lane_2

CSM (Ret) Glenn Lane receives recognition from Col. Lance Raney in Fayetteville, N.C., for his 30 years of service to the Red Cross.

Vietnam and spent 15 months recovering in the hospital.

 

Yet when he retired from the Army, he wanted to give back to the service members who experienced trauma and injury during war.

So in 1986, Glen joined the American Red Cross on Fort Bragg and began volunteering at Womack Army Medical Center. He’s now put in 30 years of volunteer service to the Red Cross, logging more than 10,000 volunteer hours.

“It’s just something I like to do,” Glenn said. “The time [Red Cross volunteers] are putting in is good for the people in the hospital.”

At the hospital, Glenn typically mingles with patients, copies records for physicians, and serves as the mailman by delivering newspapers to patients. He’s there every Wednesday and Friday.

On Aug. 3, command at Fort Bragg honored Glenn for his extraordinary service to the country, and service members recovering at home. Command hosted a luncheon and presented Glenn with an American flag. The flag was flown on the base that day in his honor.

“Glenn is a quiet hero and a selfless volunteer,” said Jeannette Salcedo, Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces manager. “He is dedicated to serving our military members and we are truly honored to have him be a part of our Red Cross family.”

When he’s not donning his Red Cross volunteer vest, Glenn, now 87, said he enjoys participating in athletic events. He has completed Fort Bragg’s All American Half-Marathon twice, and each year he runs in the Fort Bragg 10-Miler.

As for the future, Glenn said he has no plans to stop volunteering with the Red Cross, adding, “I don’t want to ever quit.”

Back to School: Red Cross Issues Steps to Help Keep Kids Safe

It’s almost time for the school bells to ring again and the American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to help make the trip back to the classroom a safe one.

Typhoon Haiyan 2015

SCHOOL BUS SAFETY If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand back from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps include:

  • Wait to board the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has signaled to get on.
  • Tell children they should only board their bus – never an alternate one.
  • Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
  • Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
  • Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.

GET TO SCHOOL SAFELY If children ride in a car to get to school, they should always wear a seat belt.

  • Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”) and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
  • If a teenager is driving to school, parents should mandate that he or she use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.
  • Some students ride their bike to school. They should always wear a helmet and ride on the right in the same direction as the traffic is going.
  • When students are walking to school, they should only cross the street at an intersection. If possible, use a route with crossing guards.
  • Parents should walk young children to school, along with children taking new routes or attending new schools, at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.

WHAT DRIVERS SHOULD KNOW Drivers should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean and be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down – especially in residential areas and school zones. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is getting ready to stop and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.

Parents should also make sure the child knows their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1. They should also teach children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.

TAKE A FIRST AID CLASS Red Cross training can give someone the confidence and skills to help with everyday emergencies from paper cuts to school sports injuries. A variety of online and in-class courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass. People can download the free Red Cross First Aid App (redcross.org/apps) for instant access to expert advice whenever and wherever needed.

Red Cross opens shelter, distributes clean-up kits following floods

Severe storms in Wake and Durham Counties caused flash floods that forced several families out of their homes.IMG_3047

The Red Cross opened a shelter on July 17, at Hillside High School, 3727 Fayetteville Rd., Durham, to assist families with lodging and food. The shelter remained open until July 20.

To date, the Red Cross is working with 86 families affected by the storm. We are grateful to our community partners, including Catholic Charities, Islamic Relief USA, Sodexo, North Carolina Central University, and Durham County Emergency Management, for providing transportation, food and shelter maintenance during relief efforts.

“Storm recovery is a group effort. The Red Cross will continue to work alongside community partners, law enforcement, and volunteers to make sure residents affected by the storm are cared for,” said Barry Porter, regional chief executive of the Red Cross in Eastern North Carolina. “We will be on the scene until all needs are met.”

Clean-up kits, that include bleach, face masks, brooms, mops and other cleaning supplies, are still available to residents affected by the storm. Those in need of clean-up kits can contact the Red Cross of Central North Carolina at 919-489-6541.

How can you help? Every day in Eastern North Carolina, about five families are displaced by a disaster, whether it be a home fire, or flood. Make a contribution – big or small – so the Red Cross can continue to lend a hand to every family affected by a disaster: www.redcross.org/enc. Or, volunteer to help families on the scene of a disaster: www.redcross.org/volunteer.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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.