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Naperville mom with rare cancer launched national blood donation campaign


Above / Pictured with her family, Naperville resident Kim Sandford recently launched a national blood donation campaign to create awareness for need; mindful that blood donors make a miraculous difference with their gifts of life, benefiting cancer patients who receive one-third of all donated blood. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Podkasik)

Update, May 1, 2024 / The 5th Annual “A Pint for Kim” Blood Drive will be held at Naperville North High School from 8AM to 4PM on Sat., May 11, 2024. The annual event is expected to be largest held in the State of Illinois and has increased the number of beds by 50 percent for 2024. The free celebration of life event will feature a huge car show, live music, raffles, games, food trucks, kids’ area and more.

Update, March 13, 2023 / The 4th Annual “A Pint for Kim” Blood Drive will be held at Naperville North High School from 8AM to 4PM on Sat., May 13, 2023. The annual event is expected to be largest held in the State of Illinois;  anticipating close to 800 pints of blood, saving up to 2,400 lives, all in tribute to a Mom who lost her life to cancer. 

Update, May 2, 2022 / The upcoming largest blood drive in Illinois is taking place Sat., May 7, at the JA Air Center in Sugar Grove. They are trying to secure and fill 800 spots in one day (which would save 2400 lives!). The organization is www.apintforkim.com – and was started by a woman with terminal cancer who was given time to present the gift of life in time to thank to other blood donors before she passed.

Original Post, Feb. 21, 2020 / Naperville resident Kim Sandford, a wife and mother of two young boys, was diagnosed about eight years ago with a one-in-ten-million cancer diagnosis of Appendix Cancer. Sandford underwent a new cutting-edge treatment called HIPEC and went into remission only to be diagnosed with Thyroid cancer a few years later. Her Appendix Cancer spread to her bones recently after which doctors told her last there is nothing else doctors can do. She is home spending her remaining time with her family.

While Sandford was in the hospital for the entire month of January, she received close to 40 blood and plasma transfusions. Daily blood and plasma transfusions are the only thing keeping her alive now. Despite the grave news she received, she wanted to turn her suffering into something beautiful and as such, her two sisters, Kathleen Benedyk Fuglsang and Kristyn Benedyk launched a campaign called “A Pint for Kim.” Kristyn has been spearheading the campaign at #apintforkim.

Goal to collect 100,000 pints of blood donations

Instead of monetary donations, Sandford, family and friends are asking the community and way beyond to donate blood or plasma in hopes of saving someone else’s life. The goal is to raise 100,000 pints of blood in Kim Sandford’s name.

According to organizers, this initiative is quickly turning into a national movement with people as far away as California and Florida donating.

Locally, folks have been donating blood at Naperville facilities including Edward Hospital and Naperville North High School as well as other blood drive centers.

Blood Drive at Iron Gate Motor Condos on March 8, 2020

A charity blood drive event is slated from 9AM to 2PM Sun., March 8, 2020, at Iron Gate Motor Condos, 2212 Ferry Road on Naperville’s north west side.

So far, more than 300 people signed up to donate blood. Folks at the donation center noted this initiative may be a record for mobile blood drive participants and they keep adding spots.  

Sandford’s family and team of doctors will be on site along with close to 500 people who are friends, family, neighbors.

To sign up to donate, visit Illinois Versiti at https://donate.illinois.versiti.org.

Blood Drive not a fundraiser / Simply give the gift of life

Note that this blood drive is not to raise money. Yet, Kim Sandford’s sisters have secured over $30K in donated items and experiences that will be raffled off to people just for donating blood. 

Unable to schedule a time to donate on March 8?

Any individual who wants to donate the gift of life in recognition of Kim Sandford, but who is unable to attend the special event on March 8, is welcome to give blood at the Versiti location in Market Meadows, formerly Heartland Blood Centers.

Find Versavi Blood Center in the Market Meadows Shopping Center, 1297 S Naper Blvd. just north of 75th Street.

No substitute exists for the gift of blood, organs, tissue or bone marrow. Not only are blood and plasma precious and lifesaving, they are perishable. The need for them is vital every day.

To donate in honor of Kim Sandford, give “A Pint for Kim” and mention the campaign #apintforkim.

For a list of blood centers, click here. Thank you.

Editor’s Note / Kimberley B. Sandford was born on October 3, 1970, and passed away on Tuesday, March 3, 2020. The need for donations of the gift of life continue. In memory of Kim’s many kindnesses and generous spirit, please give.


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PN Editor
PN Editor
An editor is someone who prepares content for publishing. It entered English, the American Language, via French. Its modern sense for newspapers has been around since about 1800.