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Adventist employee picks blood drive over party to ring in 60th birthday

Hinsdale – Forget the balloons. Forget the cake, the party hats and most of all, forget the cardboard lawn sign telling the whole neighborhood you’ve turned the big 6-0.


At least that’s Kris Veenbaas’s theory.


Instead of a traditional party, Veenbaas is planning a whole different gathering to ring in her sixth decade and she’s inviting more than just her family, friends and co-workers. She’s inviting the whole community.


It’s a blood drive and her birthday goal is to get 60 donors.


“I don’t need a party,” said Veenbaas, a Willowbrook resident. “I would much rather do this than have someone put black ribbons on my lawn or something. I have a close friend who has leukemia and other friends who have been treated for cancer. They had access to donated blood when they needed it. For me, this is important.”


Veenbaas hosted a similar “party” when she turned 50 ten years ago and collected 54 units of blood.


This Veenbaas blood drive will be from Nov. 14 through 18 on the campus of Adventist Hinsdale Hospital. Veenbaas will be making a special appearance on Nov. 15 - her actual birthday - and there will be cupcakes, T-shirts and more.


 “I’m telling everyone I know about this, co-workers, people at church, people at the grocery store, everyone,” she said. Veenbaas has been working for Adventist Hinsdale Hospital for more than 20 years as an infection preventionist, where she works to help prevent health care acquired infections.  


More than one million new people are diagnosed with cancer each year. Many of them will need blood, sometimes daily, during their chemotherapy treatment, according to the American Red Cross. In addition, every two seconds someone in the United States needs blood while a single car accident victim can require as many as 100 pints of blood.


The Kris Veenbaas Birthday Blood Drive will be 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Nov. 14 through Nov. 18 at the Adventist Lab Partners Blood Center, located in Elmwood Hall, 121 N. Elm Street in Hinsdale. To make an appointment call (630) 856-7804.



Adventist Midwest Health includes Adventist Bolingbrook Hospital, Adventist GlenOaks Hospital, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist La Grange Memorial Hospital. To find a physician, visit


Media contact: Sheila Galloro, public relations specialist, Adventist Midwest Health, Sheila.; 630-856-2359.