Blood drive planned for local girl needing large amounts of blood


The community is invited to give blood in honor of Layla Wigmore at a special American Red Cross blood drive held in her name Saturday, Sept. 29, from noon to 6 p.m. at Sweetwater Sound Music Center in Fort Wayne.

Layla Wigmore is an 8-year-old third grader with a big smile and a big heart for helping others. In March 2018, she was diagnosed with severe aplastic anemia, a rare condition where her body attacks her blood and prevents her from making more. She received a stem cell transplant two months later from her brother Cooper. Layla has received more than 200 blood transfusions so far and may need more as treatment continues.

“Layla was in desperate need of blood due to her illness,” said Tina Wigmore, Layla’s mother. “She would like to give others a chance to receive lifesaving transfusions, whoever may need it. Layla made it a goal to inspire others while at the hospital and encourages others by bringing joy to their lives.”

The blood drive is part of a larger event at Sweetwater in Layla’s honor, featuring a bike run, classic car show, live bands, food trucks, raffles and more. Follow Layla’s journey and information about this event on Facebook at //

The Wigmore family anticipates collecting 35 lifesaving donations at this blood drive. The community is invited to join them in support of patients like Layla by giving blood.

“Hosting this blood drive in her name is a wonderful way to honor Layla and potentially help others in need of transfusions,” said Erica Hines, donor recruitment manager for the Red Cross.

This blood drive comes as parts of the Southeast U.S. are being affected by Hurricane Florence, with more than 170 blood drives being cancelled, resulting in over 4,600 uncollected blood and platelet donations. The Red Cross encourages blood and platelet donations in parts of the country unaffected by the storm to help ensure a sufficient blood supply. Platelet and type O positive blood donations are critically needed right now.

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 more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide, including 80 hospitals in Indiana.

Blood Drive in honor of Layla Wigmore

Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018

Noon to 6 p.m.

Sweetwater Sound Music Center

5501 US Highway 30 E., Fort Wayne, IN 46818

Those who come to give blood or platelets with the Red Cross Sept. 1-30 will receive a coupon for a free haircut via email several days after their donation. The coupon is valid through Nov. 11, 2018, at participating Sport Clips locations. Donors must have a valid email address on record to receive the coupon.

To donate blood, simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit 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 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, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit and follow the instructions on the site.

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.