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Blood Drive Scheduled in Honor of Injured Oswego State Trooper

U.S. Navy veteran and State Trooper Douglas Balder was hurt while coming to the aid of a stranded motorist.

Doug Balder returned home to Oswego last June following his third tour with the U.S. Navy. Credit: Submitted photo
Doug Balder returned home to Oswego last June following his third tour with the U.S. Navy. Credit: Submitted photo
U.S. Navy SR Chief Douglas Balder had only been home from deployment a few months when he was seriously injured while stopping to help a disabled semi-truck on I-88.

Balder, an Illinois State Trooper, suffered severe injuries and burns in February when he and Illinois Tollway worker Vincent Petrella stopped to assist a stranded semi-truck driver on I-88 near Eola Road. According to police, another semi-truck was heading east when it slammed into the trooper's car, the stalled semi and the toll worker's vehicle. 

Petrella was killed, and Balder was hospitalized, requiring numerous blood transfusions.

Now, Naperville-based non-profit Operation Welcome You Home is sponsoring a blood drive in Balder's name.

The Friends of Doug Balder blood drive is set for 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at Heartland Blood Centers' mobile coach, which will be parked at Lexus of Naperville, 2480 Aurora Ave.

Every donor will receive a $5 Subway gift card and special thank-you gift.

To signup online, visit www.heartlandbc.org and search by the June 21 date (select "Friends of Doug Balder, OWYH," then click the red text to go to the signup page).

Donors can also sign up by contacting OWYH founder Donna Morsovillo at 630-302-2638 or donna@welcomeyouhome.org.

Appointments are strongly suggested, but walk-ins are welcome. A photo ID is required to donate.

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