Press Release

December 20, 2017

State's Attorney Glasgow hosting Jan. 16 community blood drive in honor of late Jim Stewart, SAO investigator, dedicated blood donor

Will County Children’s Advocacy Center
joins partnership on Taylor Babec Blood Drive

Will County Children’s Advocacy Center,
304 N. Scott Street in downtown Joliet

JOLIET – Will County State’s Attorney James Glasgow announces that the first Taylor Babec Community Blood Drive of 2018 hosted by his office will be in honor of the late Jim Stewart, a dedicated Heartland Blood Centers donor who led his Investigations Division for more than seven years.

The Taylor Babec Community Blood Drive will be held from 7:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 16 at a new location in front of the Will County Children’s Advocacy Center, 304 N. Scott Street, directly across the street from the Will County Office Building. Parking for the drive will be in the Will County Office parking lot. The Will County Children’s Advocacy Center is partnering with State’s Attorney Glasgow to host the drive.

Stewart, who was also a retired Joliet Police Captain, died in early November after an extended illness. However, before he became sick, this beloved local law enforcement officer followed a strict blood-donation regimen, having scheduled as many as six appointments per year since 1987.

During that period, Stewart made 160 donations and gave an astonishing 20 gallons of blood. This means that his donations over the years provided life-saving transfusions to 480 patients who had been in collisions, suffered serious injuries, or undergone medical procedures.

“Jim Stewart was an amazing individual who certainly left his mark on our local law enforcement community,” said State’s Attorney Glasgow. “But one of his greatest legacies might be the countless people he impacted by quietly and regularly giving blood the minute he was eligible to make another donation. We may never know for certain how many people are alive today because of his dedication. I would encourage everyone in local law enforcement and in county government to roll up their sleeves at our January blood drive in Jim Stewart’s honor.”

Joliet mother Jennifer Babec knows first-hand the important role committed donors like Jim Stewart play in saving lives. Her daughter, Taylor, required 22 blood transfusions that restored her health and her spirits during her successful battle against lymphoma when she was a little girl. Taylor's cancer is in remission, but Jennifer continues to coordinate drives in her honor so there is an ample supply for others who need transfusions.

During the Jan. 16 blood drive:

  • Heartland representatives will present a plaque to Jim Stewart’s widow, Amy, to honor his lifetime of donating blood.
  • All donors will be entered into a drawing for a $100 gift card that is being presented by State’s Attorney Glasgow.
  • Everyone who donates will receive a free noodle bowl (a $13 value) from Noodles & Company.
  • And Will County employees and their spouses who donate will receive one health insurance Wellness Point to be applied to the year that began in April 2017. Employees must register in advance by visiting and logging on to the worksite wellness activity: “Blood Drive – Taylor Babec S/A.”

Appointments to donate can be made by calling Jennifer Babec at (815) 325-4282 or by visiting Heartland Blood Centers online at Walk-in donors also are welcome on the day of the blood drive. Donations take roughly 30 minutes. Heartland is the sole provider of blood products for Silver Cross Hospital and Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center.

Donations Desperately Needed in January

January is National Blood Donor Month because it is when donations are needed most. Many people schedule elective surgeries after the first of the year. And blood is needed to help people injured in winter auto accidents. January, however, is also a time when bad weather, personal illnesses and hectic post-holiday schedules prevent people from making blood donations.

This Blood Drive is an opportunity to boost the local blood supply.

Who benefits from blood donations? Cancer patients may require up to eight units per month; bone marrow transplant patients may require up to two units per day. Liver transplant patients may require up to 100 units, and auto accident victims may need as many as 50 units. It is also worth noting that:

  • More than 95 percent of Americans who reach the age of 72 will need blood (or one of the products that can be derived by blood) in their lifetime.
  • About 75 percent of all people over the age of 30 have at least one personal acquaintance that has had a blood transfusion.
  • Blood is a fragile substance. It is a liquid, living tissue that must be used within 42 days (five days for platelets) of the time it is donated.

Heartland operates under a volunteer donor system and works toward collecting more than 172,000 units of blood annually with a commitment of meeting local blood needs. Participating in a drive with Heartland means that 100 percent of the blood donated is returned to the communities it serves. Heartland is the sole provider of blood and blood products for Silver Cross Hospital and Presence Saint Joseph Medical Center.


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