Patients fighting cancer need more blood than patients fighting any other disease, using nearly one-quarter of the nation’s blood supply. That’s why this February, the American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society have teamed up to encourage people across the country to Give Blood to Give Time, ensuring loved ones have the strength and support to battle cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. An estimated 129,770 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Texas this year. Many of these people will likely have a need for blood.
“A loved one’s cancer diagnosis often makes families and friends feel helpless. That’s why the Give Blood to Give Time partnership with the American Cancer Society is so important,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer, American Red Cross. “When someone donates blood or platelets or makes a financial gift, they are helping to give patients and their families time, resources and the hope they need to fight back.”
To schedule a blood donation appointment or make a financial gift, visit GiveBloodToGiveTime.org.
Some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, reducing red blood cell and platelet production. Other times, the cancer itself or surgical procedures cause the problem. Blood products are often needed. In fact, five units of blood are needed every minute to help someone going through cancer treatment. Yet only 3% of people in the United States give blood. More people are needed to donate regularly to help meet the need.
“The need for blood in cancer treatments is an important and untold story,” said Gary Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “The American Cancer Society is excited to be working with the Red Cross on Give Blood to Give Time. Through this partnership, we want people to know there are multiple ways they can help and make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and their families.”
Individuals can honor their loved ones by making a blood donation appointment or financial contribution at GiveBloodToGiveTime.org.
Who donations help
In March 2017, Celisa Alston’s cancer diagnosis came as a complete shock. Her treatment included 12 chemotherapy rounds and a blood transfusion. In remission since 2018, Celisa continues to enjoy being a mom of two and her work as Red Cross Volunteer Intake Processing Center divisional manager.
“It’s hard to believe it’s almost been three years,” Alston said. “I’m thankful blood was available when I needed it and really grateful to be healthy and looking forward to watching my son graduate from high school this spring.”
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
February 20, 2020
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Student Activity Center (SAC), 2201 Speedway
Cedar Park, TX
February 15, 2020
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sri Shirdi Sai Baba Temple of Austin, 2509 West New Hope Drive
February 19, 2020
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Thrall High School, 601 S BOUNDS ST
College Station, TX
February 16, 2020
10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
TAMU Squadron Six, 777 Military Mall
February, 11, 2020
11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
First United Methodist Church, 616 Holland
How to donate blood
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
Blood donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.
About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to www.cancer.org.