Blood Bank kicks off Blood for a Brew campaign

May 23, 2023

The Blood Bank of Delmarva kicked off the third year of its annual Blood for a Brew campaign May 18 at Hudson Fields.

During the kickoff, 44 people donated to the blood bank’s mobile clinic. Donors received a complimentary T-shirt and were entered into a drawing with Revelation Craft Brewing in Rehoboth Beach. Additional Cape Region breweries taking part in the campaign include Big Oyster Brewery, Crooked Hammock, Dewey Beer Co., Dogfish Head and Mispillion River Brewing. 

The kickoff event included music from West of One Band, beer from Revelation and guest speakers, including Shane Simmons and her fiance Jason Painter. Simmons shared her story about how donated blood helped save the life of her 4-year-old son Maverick Painter. 

Simmons said Maverick was part of triplets born 25 weeks premature. Maverick’s siblings did not survive, and Maverick was in danger himself. He spent most of his first days in a neonatal intensive care unit and needed platelets to save his life. Maverick had multiple surgeries and infections, but after eight blood transfusions, Maverick’s condition stabilized and he has gone on to be a vibrant, energetic little guy. 

“Without blood donors, we would not have our son here today,” Simmons said. 

Blood Bank of Delmarva Vice President Emily Cunningham also shared a personal story about blood donors coming to the rescue of a loved one.

“On Oct. 17, 1997, my mom was hit by a dump truck while bicycling on Savannah Road in Lewes,” she said. “The fast-acting EMS personnel and Beebe staff saved her life at the scene, but she used some 30 blood products through 11 surgeries in the 14 days in shock trauma ICU at ChristianaCare. She is alive and well today because 30 complete strangers took time to donate.  

“The need for blood never takes a vacation.  And since COVID, our number of first-time donors has decreased 33%. So, we have a focus this summer and next school year to get as many first-timers through the doors as we can, turning them into lifelong blood donors, and those that will remember to take the time to donate on a regular basis,” Cunningham said.

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