Health + Wellness

Chicago Family Honors Son’s Memory with Blood Donation

blood donor
Photo Courtesy of The Jaden Sebastian Blake Foundation

Blood supply is in a critical condition, putting lives at risk. The American Red Cross has issued an urgent call for donors as hospitals are facing an emergency shortage. The demand for blood is outpacing the supply, making it challenging for healthcare providers to deliver life-saving treatments.

The shortage has real consequences for patients in need of blood transfusions, surgeries, and other medical procedures. Without an adequate supply of blood, medical professionals are unable to provide the necessary care, putting patients’ lives at risk.

In the face of this crisis, one Chicago couple has turned their personal tragedy into a mission to help others. Yvonne Blake Brown and Milton Brown tragically lost their son, Jaden, in a car accident last year. During his illness, Jaden required multiple surgeries and a significant amount of blood. His parents witnessed firsthand the vital importance of blood donations in saving lives.

“During the brief illness, he needed several surgeries and massive amounts of blood,” Yvonne tells ABC7 Chicago. “And honestly, he was cleaning out the blood bank.”

Inspired by their son’s memory, Yvonne and Milton have dedicated themselves to promoting blood donation and hosting blood drives in Jaden’s honor. They are determined to keep his legacy alive by advocating for blood donation and ensuring that others have access to this life-saving resource.

RELATED: 9 Things Blacks Need to Know About Donating Blood

“My first thought after we lost Jay was how do we keep his memory alive?” Milton says.

Jaden was a remarkable young man, known for his academic achievements, athletic prowess, and commitment to social activism. He was also passionate about community service, with blood donation being one of his primary ways of giving back.

“When Jay entered the room, it’s kind of like, hey, you kind of lifted you know, and he brought that same energy back,” Milton adds. “Jay was very multifaceted. He was an athlete. He was an excellent student. But he also was a social activist and so I wanted to make sure that we make sure that all of Jay was remembered.”

In honor of Jaden, Yvonne and Milton have organized over 15 blood drives, with a focus on reaching out to predominantly Black communities. They believe that it is crucial to ensure that everyone, regardless of their background, has access to

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