Give the Gift of Life: Blood Drive Held in Honor of Daniel Perelman


Ethan Zhang

On May 26th, a tragic accident claimed the life of 18-year-old Daniel Perelman. Daniel was going to change the world, leaving behind a legacy of intellectual curiosity and excellence, combined with a strong sense of social justice and community service.  Daniel’s organs saved four lives, and in his honor, the “Daniel Gives Back” non-profit was created. The first blood drive in his honor saved up to 231 lives in blood donations. This January, the opportunity to remember Daniel’s legacy is coming to Brookfield East. 

The community is invited to give the gift of life through donating blood on January 4th, between 8 am and 2 pm in the field house of Brookfield East high school, 3305 Lilly Rd, Brookfield, WI 53005. 

Donating blood is one of the simplest and accessible ways to make a difference in the community. For the donor, it doesn’t take much, but it can mean everything for the recipient. 

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S needs blood. There are many different scenarios where blood is crucial, including situations where a patient experienced a great loss of blood, cannot produce platelets, or have other blood related problems. Cancer patients, trauma patients, sickle cell patients, burn patients, all need blood. 

Mrs. Zieman, the advisor of the Red Cross Club emphasizes the uniqueness of blood. “There’s no substitute for blood.” Mrs. Zieman explains, “We can’t make blood, We can’t replace blood. We need it.” Blood drives are a great way to give blood to those in need of it, and can make a big impact. Mrs. Zieman provides us with a statistic: “Every liter of blood can be used to save three people.” Blood is used for different purposes, but these donations all save many lives and make a bold impact.

If the impact of donating is so precious, and so impactful in saving lives, why don’t more people donate? 

“The reason people don’t donate is because they aren’t asked. There is also a lot of myth and stigma surrounding it.” Mrs. Zieman explains. “Try this out in a safe and secure environment. The whole process will only take an hour, and the actual process will only take 6 to 8 minutes. You can’t feel it, microscopic needle, painless.” 

Lola Perelman (11), the sister of Daniel, also shares her insight. “Anyone who can donate, really should, it doesn’t take much.” 

The Brookfield East Red Cross club is working with the non-profit Daniel Gives back to make this blood drive the most successful it can be. The goal is simple: to maximize the amount of donations to honor Daniel’s legacy. 

“Our first goal is to achieve a full roster, 81 slots for donors, we’d like those filled up.” Mrs. Zieman shares, “The second goal, equally as important, would be introducing people to the ‘Daniel Gives Back non-profit’ and to share his story or legacy.” 

Perelman also shares her overarching goals of helping others: “I hope it spreads awareness of the Daniel Gives Back non-profit. Also, just to show people that Daniel was a good person, how he did organ donations, and for everyone to do what they can to help people.” 

But, at the end of the day, Mrs. Zieman emphasizes that, “Every donation helps, we will take what we can get.” 

To make an appointment or to learn more, download the American Red Cross Blood donor app or visit Donors are encouraged to complete a Rapidpass online health history questionnaire found at to speed up the donation process.