Halloween Blood Drive
“This is our second annual A Pint for Kim Halloween Blood Drive. We have blood drives throughout the year but this is our Halloween-themed one and we got a little bigger,” said Kristyn Benedyk, host of the blood drive and Kim Sandford’s sister. “Last year I think we had a dozen or so inflatables. We’ve got 40 this year. So just continuing to try to get awareness by getting people’s attention and then once they look and see ‘A Pint for Kim’ they know why we’re here.
“This Chicagoland area is at a less than a one day of blood supply and so to me that’s really the scary thing. I just keep thinking if there’s a snowstorm and everyone’s stuck in their houses for two or three days, the hospitals could legitimately run out of blood.”
Continuing Blood Drives
“One of the reasons that we do this particular drive and the reason we have bands and all these things at the May drive is that we really want to change what it means to have a blood drive and what a blood drive looks like,” said Benedyk. “Even though the topic is serious, it doesn’t have to be a somber occasion.
“With A Pint for Kim, our goal is to get people to become regular donors. I mean sometimes I stop and I’m like it’s only been a little over 18 months since Kim passed and since we’ve done this movement and just to see how much it’s grown. In terms of the Halloween drive, Kim would have loved seeing all of this. I’ve been inside sometimes when the inflatables have been off and I’ll hear little kids and I run and I turn the light switch on and they all come to life at once and hearing their [gasps], she just would have loved the kids’ reaction and this is bringing joy to people and that’s what Kim really loved to do.”
Sandford was first diagnosed with a rare combination of two different types of cancer in 2012, which then went into remission. In May 2018, her cancer returned and spread to her bones. The mother of two boys was at Edward hospital in January last year for treatment and received around 40 blood and plasma transfusions. She passed away on March 3, 2020.
In March 2020, Sandford’s family hosted the first A Pint for Kim blood drive, bringing in almost 500 donors. The drive has become an annual event and sparked the #APintforKim movement.
Naperville News 17’s Aysha Ashley Househ reports.
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