One Naperville woman’s long battle with cancer inspired hundreds to donate blood last year. And this year was no different.
Kimberly Sandford passed away in March 2020. While in the hospital she needed multiple plasma and blood transfusions.
“When it kind of hit our family that perfect strangers were donating blood and we were using so much of it, it made us really realize that we need to give back and to help that cause, said Kim’s husband, Robert Sandford.
Over 500 Blood Donations
Last year’s first annual A Pint for Kim blood drive set the Illinois record for blood donations on a single day in a single location. And yesterday, the drive beat its own record with over 500 blood donors at the all-day event.
“Kim made us all promise that – obviously we’re going to be sad to not have her, but to not just sit around and dwell on that,” said Kristyn Benedyk, Kim’s sister. “So I feel like we’ve taken that, we’ve been able to turn it into something positive.”
This year’s drive, held at the J.A. Air Center in Sugar Grove, was also bigger. Food trucks, a car show, music, and even free plane rides were a part of the event.
“I think people think of a blood drive and it’s very sterile and they may be afraid. But we want it to be fun,” said Benedyk. “It should be fun. You’re saving lives.”
The family hopes to continue inspiring more people to donate and spread awareness. One pint of blood can save three lives.
Going forward, the annual A Pint for Kim event will be held the Saturday of Mother’s Day weekend.
“For my boys they’re kind of young enough that they don’t maybe understand everything, but this is an opportunity for them to see just what their mom inspired and the change she’s making and just her name,” said Robert. “To have them grow up and know that their mom made a difference in the world, I think that’s important for them and I do think they realize that.”
For the fifth annual A Pint for Kim, they hope to break the national record for blood donations which is currently 2,549.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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