College Student From Park Ridge Helms Blood Drive

Andy Dahn
August 08, 2018 - 3:50 pm

Photo provided
PARK RIDGE (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- A Park Ridge college student isn't asking for presents for his 22nd birthday this Saturday. Instead, he's asking for blood donations.

"I always say I'm like a 65-year-old man in a 22-year-old's body,” Jimmy Rancich said.

That's because on his 17th birthday, Jimmy Rancich was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

"Pretty quickly, we realized that it was going to be more than just a little chemo," he said. "It was a lot of chemo, a lot of radiation and a stem cell transplant."

Rancich said blood transfusions were a critical part of his treatment, and that's why for his 21st birthday, he organized his own blood drive.

"We decided to do it like a block party in front of my house," he said.

Flyer provided

The drive resulted in more than 60 blood donations, which helped about 180 people. This Saturday, Rancich will celebrate his 22nd birthday by hosting another drive at his Park Ridge home, 930 S. Broadway. The event runs from noon to 5 p.m.

"For cancer patients like me who need blood constantly, and gunshot victims, which rises in the summer for Chicago, they also need blood," Rancich said. "My birthday is kind of at a perfect time to get more blood out to the Chicagoland hospitals."

Now entering his junior year at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana, Rancich doesn't plan on halting his efforts anytime soon.

"I'll do this as long as I'm alive," he said.