Red Cross blood drive held in memory of Levi Linscheid

By Laura McGuire, American Red Cross

In October 2019, Highland, Wisconsin native, Levi Linscheid, passed away in an automobile accident at the age of 24. Levi lived his short life with the consistent philosophy of helping others.

He was a dedicated fitness trainer who is remembered for his unmatched kindness to everyone, his commitment to his career and his passion for health. He had a great respect for people and treated everyone equal no matter their walk of life. To know Levi was to be his friend.

The American Red Cross is joining family and friends to host a blood drive in memory of Levi Linscheid on Monday, June 21 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Broske Center, 1155 N. Second St., 53818 in Platteville and Friday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Saint Anthony Philip Parish, 726 Main St., 53543 in Highland. Appointments are strongly encouraged. (Click here to make an appointment, using the above ZIP codes in your search.)  

In June 2020 an outstanding number of blood donors rolled up a sleeve to support the Linscheid family. Over the two days, 224 lifesaving donations were collected, with 33 of these donations being first-time blood donors.

As more people schedule their vaccination appointments and begin to gear up for a return to some of their favorite summer activities, the Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood or platelets and make it a summer full of life for patients in need. While Americans begin to resume normal seasonal activities, the Red Cross is concerned about the impact this may have on blood donor turnout and the blood supply this summer. The need for lifesaving blood transfusions never takes a break. It’s critical to have blood ready to go when every second counts. 

The first blood drive of this series will be held in Platteville, where Levi went to school, lived and worked. The second blood drive will be in Highland, Levi’s hometown. “We’re honored to be a part of this important event in Levi’s memory,” said Barbara Linscheid, Levi’s mother. 

“Hosting a blood drive in his name is a wonderful way to honor Levi and help patients in need,” said Shannon Montgomery, donor recruitment district manager for the American Red Cross Wisconsin Blood Services Region. “This blood drive is truly fitting since Levi was known for loving his community and serving others.”

Make your appointment in Levi’s memory today at

Never Too Busy to Save a Life

By Kay Elmsley Weeden, American Red Cross

It’s hard to imagine someone as busy and caring as Bonnie Schuenke. Outside of her work as a Critical Care RN Case Manager covering the Heart Care Unit, Oncology, and ICU at Waukesha Hospital, at home she fosters dogs for several different rescue organizations. Both of these could be a full-time job in itself.

But today finds Bonnie and her husband, Mark (both pictured, at left), masked and reclined on vinyl cots, each of them hooked up to a blood collection bag. They are betting against each other to see which one will finish first. More often than not, Bonnie wins. And why not? She’s been regularly donating blood through the ARC for more than twenty years, and she makes sure her husband goes with her.


“This is part of what we should be doing to give back. It’s the right thing to do,” she says.

Bonnie knows that blood donation is quick and easy, and almost daily she sees the effect that blood has on the many patients she cares for. She watches how patients transform once they are given a unit of blood.

“They can go from feeling miserable to feeling so much better in a short time.” It’s akin to liquid gold.

On this World Blood Donor Day (June 14), the American Red Cross is taking a moment to recognize all of the remarkable people like Bonnie and Mark, who step up to give. This past year has been especially challenging on so many levels due to COVID. In March 2020, there were widespread cancellations of blood drives. The Red Cross pivoted with more health and safety measures, new and creative sites for drives, and added information for those who donated, like testing for COVID antibodies.

Through it all, the need for blood remained constant, something Bonnie knows first-hand. For someone who works most of her waking hours treating patients, Bonnie and her husband see donating blood not simply as a chance to volunteer, but as the chance to help save a life. And it truly appeals to them that they can track their donation as it’s being processed and know where it has been sent.

This underscores their feeling that their blood donation means something. “Give Blood. Help Save a Life” is a catchphrase the Red Cross has used to encourage donations. And according to Bonnie, “that is the very impact you have when you donate.”

Her advice: Find a buddy, go together and make it fun.

When was the last time you helped to save a life? If you’d like more info on how to donate blood or platelets, or to make an appointment, please go to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

Annual membership notice for the Southeast Wisconsin Chapter of the American Red cross

The American Red Cross – Southeast Wisconsin Chapter is inviting all eligible members to join our annual membership meeting at 7:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 16, 2021.

Membership is open to anyone who has made a monetary contribution, performed volunteer service and/or donated blood to the American Red Cross. The purpose of membership is to promote community understanding, commitment and support of the Red Cross mission and services.

This annual meeting will be led by the Board of Directors of the Southeast Chapter and will include election of officers as well as regular business updates.

This meeting will be held virtually via Microsoft Teams, out of a continuing abundance of caution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For an invitation to the meeting or other questions, reach out to Regional CEO and Southeast Wisconsin Chapter Executive Mark Thomas at or Volunteer Samantha LeBlanc at

Grateful cancer survivor pays it forward after receiving blood and platelets

By Laura McGuire, American Red Cross

Tina Langness is a retired registered nurse and has seen the need for blood and platelets hundreds of times in her career, but she never imagined she would be the one in need.

In 2017, Langness was diagnosed with breast cancer. Through her year-and-a-half journey with cancer she endured chemotherapy, radiation, multiple surgeries, and through the ordeal, she required blood and platelets. Cancer free since June 2020, she shared her sense of gratitude for American Red Cross blood and platelet donors.

Langness has a simple message to all blood donors. “I love you! Thank you! You are da bomb,” said Langness. “You saved my life and inspired me to keep going and not give up. Your donations do more for people than you realize. Thank you for being unselfish and for making a difference.”

As a cancer survivor, it’s only natural for Langness to want to give back in the same manner that she was saved. In the fall of 2020, Langness started to donate her high demand Type O positive blood at American Red Cross community blood drives in New Richmond or Hudson, Wis. consistently every 56 days.

To encourage others who may be hesitant to donate Langness says, “I totally get it and I get you. I know it’s scary, it’s human nature to be afraid of the unknown and it is a bit of a commitment, but the feeling of knowing you are doing a really good thing and you are saving lives is absolutely incredible. Someday you, a close friend or a family member may be the one needing blood or platelets. It really can and does make a difference.”

This June, the Red Cross and the American Cancer Society have teamed up to encourage people across the country to Give Blood to Give Time and help ensure loved ones have the strength and support they need as they undergo cancer treatment. Patients fighting cancer need more blood than patients with any other disease, using nearly one-quarter of the nation’s blood supply. Individuals can honor their loved ones by making a blood or platelet donation appointment at  

The Red Cross currently has an emergency need for eligible donors in Wisconsin to make an appointment now to give platelets to ensure critical patient needs are met. Platelets, the clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients during treatment, must be transfused within five days of donation and, therefore, are always in great demand. In thanks for helping meet patient needs, all who come to donate through June 13 will receive a limited-edition Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.  

And Red Cross donors, volunteers and staff will continue to have Langness’s gratitude.

“I’ve always admired the American Red Cross and the volunteers and staff,” said Langness. “We are extremely lucky as a nation to have the services they provide. When disaster strikes, you know they will be there. However, it’s behind the scenes where the Red Cross really ticks and goes unnoticed. It’s really an inspiring organization!”

Every cancer survivor’s ability to donate blood will be determined on a case by case basis. Eligibility is ultimately determined by the type of cancer you had and the treatment you received. For eligibility requirements please visit

Make an appointment to help someone like Tina. Click here and find a date and location that fit for you.