Second Red Cross blood drive held for toddler with rare condition


LEO, Ind. (Nov. 6, 2018) — The community is invited to give blood in honor of Jax John Thacker at a special American Red Cross blood drive held in his name Saturday, Nov. 10, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Leo United Methodist Church.

Jax was born April 26, 2015, seven weeks early, and was diagnosed with a condition called hydrocephalus. At eight weeks old, he underwent surgery to place a shunt in his head. Six months later, the shunt malfunctioned and Jax had his second surgery to replace the shunt. Now at three years old, Jax has had three major head surgeries so far. Donated blood helped make his surgeries possible.

The Thacker family invites the community to give blood in honor of Jax to help others with his condition.

“Jax is a happy little boy with the most gentle heart and an ‘I don’t give up’ attitude,” said Kylie Thacker, Jax’s mother. “He loves to laugh and enjoys picking on his little brother.”

This is the second blood drive held in honor of Jax. The first blood drive, held last year, resulted in 37 blood donations. The family seeks 37 more donations this year to match the first blood drive. The event will also include a silent auction of items with proceeds going to the Pediatric Hydrocephalus Foundation.

“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Stephanie Burris, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross. “We take for granted that blood will be there at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors. Giving blood in Jax’s name is a wonderful way to honor him and potentially help others with his condition.”

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.

Donate Blood in honor of Jax John Thacker

Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018

9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Leo United Methodist Church

13527 Leo Road, Leo, IN 46765

How 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.

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.