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updated: 1/15/2014 12:33 PM

LifeSource tests door-to-donor blood donations in Lake Villa

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  • LifeSource's new Red Line Express bus waits outside Christal Herbst's Lake Villa home after she organized a last-minute blood drive through Facebook for friends and neighbors. Blood donations are down 30 percent because of the polar weather, frigid cold and the holidays.

      LifeSource's new Red Line Express bus waits outside Christal Herbst's Lake Villa home after she organized a last-minute blood drive through Facebook for friends and neighbors. Blood donations are down 30 percent because of the polar weather, frigid cold and the holidays.
    photos by Gilbert R. Boucher II/gboucher@dailyhera

  • Lake Villa resident Christal Herbst gives blood after she organized a last-minute blood drive with LifeSource outside her home. LifeSource sent its new Red Line Express bus because Herbst has O-negative blood, which is always in demand and donations were down because of bad weather.

       Lake Villa resident Christal Herbst gives blood after she organized a last-minute blood drive with LifeSource outside her home. LifeSource sent its new Red Line Express bus because Herbst has O-negative blood, which is always in demand and donations were down because of bad weather.
    Gilbert R. Boucher II | Staff Photographer

 
By Gilbert R. Boucher II
gboucher@dailyherald.com

Lake Villa resident Christal Herbst took to Facebook to organize a community blood drive Tuesday in front of her home after she heard blood donations had dropped recently.

When LifeSource learned Herbst has the O-negative blood type, they offered to send a bus to get her blood.

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"I thought it's kind of silly just to send a truck just for me," Herbst explained. "I said, 'Why don't I see what I can get going?' Facebook is an amazing thing."

LifeSource, the Chicago area's largest blood services provider, dispatched their new specially equipped bus, Red Line Express, to her home.

There, she and more than 35 neighbors and friends used the van's four beds to each donate a pint of blood.

Type O-negative blood is always in great demand and often in short supply, officials said. The idea for the bus stemmed from a desire to provide way for O-negative donors to donate in times of heightened need, officials said.

LifeSource blamed the recent severe winter storms for a 30 percent drop in donations due to missed and canceled appointments,

"It was the triple whammy. The snow, the cold and the holidays. It takes a lot to get out in the polar weather," LifeSource spokesman Joe White said.

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