Blood drive held in honor of Barry Van Haaften saves up to 189 lives

Photo: Barry with his wife Kelsie and three young daughters. A second blood drive in his honor will be held Thursday, Jan. 7.

Community members rolled up their sleeves and made precious, critically needed blood donations at a drive honoring Barry Van Haaften held Tuesday, Dec. 15, at the Lynnville Friends Church FCC Building.

The blood drive was a “huge success,” said organizer Julie Jones of Sully. Appointments were booked solid in advance of the Dec. 15 drive facilitated by LifeServe Blood Center. On the day of the drive, some spots opened up due to cancelations, but were quickly filled. Jones received updated stats from LifeServe over the weekend, which indicated 63 units of blood were collected at Tuesday’s drive. This equates to 189 lives saved or sustained. Eleven of the Dec. 15 donors were first-time donors.

Blood donation spots filled up so quickly for the December blood drive that it prompted Jones to set up a second drive in honor of Van Haaften on Thursday, Jan. 7, from 2-6:30 p.m. at the Lynnville Friends Church. To schedule an appointment for the Jan. 7 blood drive, visit, call LifeServe at 1-800-287-4903, or contact Jones at 515-238-3273.

The opportunity to donate convalescent plasma will also be available Jan. 7. Eligible donors must complete an online questionnaire and submit their positive COVID test results in advance of being able to schedule an appointment. Visit www.­.org for more information about plasma donations.

Van Haaften, husband of Kelsie (Van Kooten), is a young father of three who was diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia in February 2019. He was in remission for almost one year prior to the leukemia’s return. Van Haaften is receiving chemotherapy to reach remission again so he can have a bone marrow transplant. Over the course of his treatment, Van Haaften has received over 65 units of blood products.


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