Naperville

‘Pints for Kim’ Blood Drive Honors Naperville Mother Who Died From Cancer

Kimberley Sanford made it her mission inspire people to donate blood to help others

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A blood drive will take place Sunday in suburban Naperville in honor of a mother who made it her mission to help other cancer patients.

Kimberley Sanford, a mother of two, died on Tuesday following a long battle with cancer.

While the initiative "A Pint for Kim" was started in January, the first official blood drive will take place Sunday. Even before the official blood drive, many people, even strangers, have donated at Naperville's Versiti Blood Center in Kim's honor.

"Every time they post 50 spots for Sunday, they're gone within two hours," Kristyn Benedyk, Kim's sister, said. "We cannot keep up with the demand."

During Kim's eight year fight, she wanted to give back to those who helped her.

"We associated it with accidents and tragedies," Benedyk said, referring to blood donations. "We don't realize [the] majority of it is going to help cancer patients."

Even though it hasn't taken place yet, Sunday's blood drive already shattered a single-day blood donation record.

"I have been around blood drives for 15 years, and I have never seen anything like this," said Emily Alanis, manager of Versiti Blood Center of Illinois.

Kathleen Fuglsang, Kim's younger sister, donated blood for the first time in her sister's memory.

"If you had just one minute with her, you would see why everybody is doing this," Fuglsang said.

The "Pint for Kim" blood drive takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Iron Gate Motor Condos in Naperville.

"If I can do this one small thing and honor her, it helps me feel closer to her," said Lori Jurjovec, Kim's best friend. "A way we can stay connected in a way that would make her happy."

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