Thanks to Emily for making such a huge impact and helping the Red Cross maintain a stable blood supply through the holiday season and this winter!

Leslie Johnson and her daughter Emily Johnson, Mankato, Minnesota.

We’re happy to share with you a story that KEYC-News in Mankato recently aired entitled: LCWM senior advocates for blood donations by sharing personal story.

Emily Johnson, a senior at Lake Crystal Wellcome Memorial High School is hosting her second blood drive this year because she credits blood with helping save her mom’s life.

“My mom is my inspiration and I’m grateful she is alive,” said Emily Johnson. “If blood had not been available when she needed it, she might not be here today – I might not have had my mom growing up. It’s my honor to be able to promote blood donation and help pay it forward to others in need.”

In 2005, when Emily was just two years old her mother, Leslie Johnson, was in a farming accident that left her with broken bones including a shattered pelvis in five places, her right leg was severely injured and detached from her spine, a severed artery in her abdomen and head trauma. The injuries caused massive bleeding and she received platelets while being airlifted to the hospital.

Leslie Johnson underwent surgery that same day to repair the severed artery and head trauma. She received nine units of blood in the first 24 hours. She spent the next six days in an induced coma and received additional units of blood. Eleven days later following a second surgery to repair her crushed pelvis she was discharged from the hospital. The next three months were spent in a wheelchair and learning to walk again.

“I am so proud of Emily,” said her mother. “She is such an amazing young woman and is making a positive impact in this world!”

Leslie Johnson is facing another surgery to fully replace both of her hip sockets that were also crushed in the accident and may need additional blood products.

Thanks to Emily for making such a huge impact and helping the Red Cross maintain a stable blood supply through the holiday season and this winter.

Make your blood, platelets or convalescent plasma donation today.

Stars aligned for dancing, raising funds in Mankato

Local Red Cross board chair Ben Hoffmann in Dancing with the Mankato Stars. Photo Jackson Forderer/Mankato Free Press
Local Red Cross board chair Ben Hoffman performs in Dancing with the Mankato Stars. Photo Jackson Forderer/Mankato Free Press

For the fifth year, the stars aligned in Mankato for a successful Dancing With the Mankato Stars (DWTMS) on February 11, 2017.

More than 2,500 people filled the sold-out Verizon Event Center to watch 11 couples and one group of religious sisters dance to support the American Red Cross serving Southwest Minnesota. The event was spearheaded by the DWTMS board and Dance Express.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this event happen, including more than 30 Red Cross volunteers. Through sponsorships and donations, the event raised over $123,400.

Click here to see more great photos.

Mankato Stars Are Ready to Dance for Red Cross

Support the teams
DWTMSDo you want to start supporting a Dancing with the Mankato Stars team? Check out the new Crowdrise page where you can donate to your favorite dance team and help them win the upcoming competition while supporting American Red Cross programs and services in southwest Minnesota.

Attend the event
DWTMS_2
Join us on the event day, February, 13, to watch the dancing teams. The teams are local celebrities who are paired with professional dance partners from Dance Express and colleagues of Dance Express. They will each compete for trophies, awards and the top spot. This event will raise money for the American Red Cross serving Southwest Minnesota.

Learn about Red Cross
January 2016 Urgent Need_Stamp GraphicAs part of the global Red Cross network, the American Red Cross works to reduce human suffering in the face of emergencies. Primary lines of humanitarian services include disaster relief, recovery and preparedness, emergency communications and financial assistance for military members and their families, health and safety training, blood and platelet donation collection, processing and distribution, reconnection search and messaging for people separated by international conflict and disasters, and immunizations in vulnerable communities around the globe.

12195094_10153609172750630_5228715192139806662_oThe Red Cross in southwest Minnesota serves more than 369,000 people in communities across Blue Earth, Brown, Cottonwood, Faribault, Jackson, Lincoln, Lyon, McLeod, Martin, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Pipestone, Redwood, Renville, Rock, Sibley, Watonwan and Yellow Medicine counties. In southwest Minnesota last year, the Red Cross supported 62 families affected by disasters, collected more than 30,000 units of blood, trained 13,126 people in lifesaving and caregiving skills, provided 153 emergency communications services to military families, and installed 214 smoke alarms for home fire safety.