Jimmy Rancich Blood Drive
Jimmy Rancich was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of Stage 4 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in 2013, and as part of his treatment required numerous blood transfusions.
The Park Ridge resident has made it his goal to educate the public about the importance of blood donation and for the past three years has hosted a blood drive around the time of his birthday to collect much-needed units of blood.
The 2020 installment of the Jimmy Rancich Blood Drive will take place from noon-5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8, at the Vitalant-Illinois’ headquarters, 5505 Pearl St. in Rosemont. Those interested in donating blood can schedule an appointment online or call 877.25VITAL. Use Group Code 835B. Those who are unable to donate on Aug. 8 can still participate by visiting any of Vitalant's 17 Chicagoland community donation centers through Aug. 31 and mentioning Group Code 835B.
Jimmy was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma just before his junior year at Maine South and has since received a stem cell transplant and numerous surgeries for complications stemming from his cancer treatments.
A diagnosis of secondary brain cancer in the fall of 2014 required additional surgeries, chemotherapy and blood transfusions.
Jimmy said it was the blood transfusions that played a key role in making him feel instantly better during his treatments.
"As a cancer patient who needed many transfusions, I know how energizing a blood transfusion can make you feel," he said. "Battling the disease was much harder and tougher than I ever imagined it could have been. I don't even know how many blood and platelet transfusions I've had. I just know I'm so grateful for the way it made me feel and the way they saved my life."
All successful blood donations will be tested for COVID-19 antibodies. If your test comes back positive you may be able to give a convalescent plasma donation to help a current COVID-19 patient fight the disease. Learn more about our convalescent plasma program here.