Granton Twins Hosting
Sweet 16 Blood Drive

Abby Schoessow and Caleb Schoessow 2022

Abby and Caleb Schoessow of Granton are planning a blood drive for their 16th birthday.
The drive will be March 28 at Zion Lutheran Church in Granton.  

 Submitted photo  

The U.S. is facing a national blood crisis—the worst blood shortage in over a decade, posing a concerning risk to patient care. To help combat this life-threatening issue, Caleb and Abby Schoessow of Granton are holding a Sweet 16 Blood Drive in honor of their birthday. It will be March 28 from 1-6 p.m. at Zion Lutheran (Missouri Synod) Church W2894 Granton Rd., Granton. 

“There’s no better birthday gift than saving someone’s life,” said Caleb and Abby.

The twins have a goal of collecting 32 units of blood, which would help save almost 100 people’s lives. Caleb and Abby are working with Versiti Blood Center of Wisconsin, which is the sole supplier to Marshfield Medical Center as well as more than 50 hospitals in Wisconsin.

Blood donation key facts

Platelets and plasma are used for a variety of patients, including accident victims and surgical patients, leukemia and other cancer patients, and in the treatment of patients suffering from burns or shock.

If you were told you couldn’t give blood because of a chronic medical condition, many rules have changed. While all cases are different, many medications don’t prevent individuals from donating. And as far as people with chronic health conditions are concerned, they often can also donate blood. Common diseases like diabetes, asthma and Lyme disease do not exempt people from donating blood.

All types of blood are needed now, especially types O positive and O negative, as well as platelet donations, to help reverse the national blood crisis. At Caleb and Abby’s Sweet 16 Blood Drive you will also have the chance to give a “double” batch of blood.

The minimal age limit for donating blood is 16 years of age (with parental consent) and there is no upper age limit. Caleb and Abby would like to give a gift to the youngest donor and the oldest donor.

The personal impact of blood shortages

Caleb and Abby, sophomores at Granton High School, have personal reasons for wanting to hold their Sweet 16 Blood Drive. Several years ago, Caleb and Abby’s mother had breast cancer and went through years of treatment. She needed a blood transfusion a few years ago.

“I saw the impact a blood transfusion made on my mother’s life, and it helped bring her back home to us. I don’t want other kids to go without a parent because they couldn’t get the blood they need to live and thrive,” said Caleb.

Abby was interested in hosting the blood drive for their Sweet 16 because she was born  with a rare disease and required several surgeries during her toddler years.

“My parents sometimes talk about my surgeries and how extensive they were. I sometimes think of children and adults who desperately need blood and I want to do everything I can to save someone’s life,” Abby said.

Abby also wants to go into the medical field after graduation-possibly anesthesiology or radiology – and who knows the importance of having an adequate blood supply for patients in need.

Caleb and Abby hope that other teens across the county take their idea of a Sweet 16 birthday and hold their own blood drive.

“Wouldn’t it be wonderful if other teenagers in the county and state could duplicate this effort? Think about how many children and adults could be impacted because of someone’s selfless act,” said Abby.

“There is nothing greater you can give someone than the gift of life. To have people donating lifesaving blood is humanitarian and essential,” Caleb said.

The blood drive will be a family affair. Caleb, Abby and their parents all plan to donate blood to help meet their goal of 32 units. Afterwards, Caleb and Abby will help at the blood drive by passing out drinks and cookies.

“We are trying to get cupcakes donated because it would be great to share birthday cake with everyone,” Nathan, the twins’ 10-year-old brother, even said.

Blood donation requirements

A blood donor card or driver’s license are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

Register to donate

Walk-ins are welcome, but appointments are encouraged. To register for Caleb and Abby’s Sweet 16 Blood Drive, visit If you can’t find a time slot that meets your needs, contact Courtney Schoessow at

I would encourage people not to let fear get in the way of them donating. Even if you’re scared, you can still try,’ said Courtney Schoessow.

“For people who are thinking about giving blood, if they needed it, they would want someone else to do it for them. So it’s really important to do that and help someone in need,” said Caleb.


Clark County Press, Neillsville, WI

March 16, 2022

Transcribed by Dolores M. Kenyon, March 18, 2022.

Web page by James W. Sternitzky PhD, March 18, 2022. 

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