Hinchcliffe Hundred blood drive set

Submitted photoDONATE: Verizon IndyCar Series driver James Hinchcliffe encourages everyone to donate blood.

The community is invited to join the race to help save lives with Verizon IndyCar Series driver and blood recipient James Hinchcliffe at a special American Red Cross Hinchcliffe Hundred Blood Drive.

The event is noon to 6 p.m. Monday at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Legends Row, with a goal to collect 105 blood donations.

The first 100 blood donors will receive a free access pass into the driver’s garage (must be at least 18 years old) and free parking in Turn 3. Anyone who wishes to attend the blood drive must have a gate ticket to enter the property. A free gate ticket will be sent to each donor by email after their donation appointment is scheduled. On the day of the blood drive, those without an appointment to donate are welcome to attend the blood drive and buy a gate ticket to enter.

Hinchcliffe suffered severe injuries after a crash during practice at IMS in 2015. He needed 22 pints of blood to survive, about twice an average person’s blood volume. His experience led him to realize the importantance of blood donations.

“It took something like what happened to me for me to understand the problem,” Hinchcliffe said. “I'm working with the Red Cross to do whatever I can to raise awareness about the issue and try to draw people to blood donation.”

Hinchcliffe’s accident is a reminder of how fragile the blood supply can be.

“Just as James ended up needing a large volume of blood quickly to save his life, we can’t predict when a major accident might happen,” said Meg Ahlering, business account manager for the Red Cross. “It’s the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency.”

This blood drive is one of several Hinchcliffe is sponsoring across the country with the Red Cross to help boost blood supplies during a time when fewer people donate.

The Red Cross depends on blood donors across the nation to meet the needs of patients at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide. In Indiana alone, the Red Cross needs about 450 donors daily to support patients at 80 hospitals across the state. Donors of all blood types are needed to help those who rely on blood products.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit the website at RedCrossBlood.org or call 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 registration.

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 in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 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 the website at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions online.

Just the facts

WHAT: Hinchcliffe Hundred Blood Drive

WHEN: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday

WHERE: Indianapolis Motor Speedway Legends Row, 4790 W. 16th St., Speedway

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