Blood Products Key to Cancer Care

By: American Red Cross Last Updated: August 18, 2010

September is National Blood Cancer Awareness Month RedCrossLogo

You can join the fight to beat cancer, one blood donation at a time.

Blood and platelets from volunteer donors can be vital to the care and treatment of people with cancer,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Region of the American Red Cross. “You can make such a difference to someone very sick through the simple act of rolling up your sleeve.”

Every day, cancer patients may depend on blood being there for emergency or ongoing care. Leukemia and other cancers can cause anemia and internal bleeding, chemotherapies and radiation can lower blood counts, and cancer-related surgeries can result in blood loss. Transfusions of red blood cells and platelets can literally keep a patient from bleeding to death, or dramatically improve the quality of their life.

Just under 1 million people in the United States are living with or in remission from a form of blood cancer, according to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. And every four minutes, one person in the U.S. is diagnosed with a blood cancer.

With September being National Blood Cancer Awareness Month, donors are encouraged to make and keep appointments to give blood or platelets. The American Red Cross provides blood donation opportunities through donor centers, as well as through sponsored-organized drives at businesses, churches, civic and community organizations, places of worship, schools and colleges.

We often hear from cancer patients or families who want to thank donors for their generosity,” said Whitman. “They tell us that because someone took the time to give blood through the American Red Cross, their loved one was given another chance at life.

UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:

  • Monday, Aug. 30, from 2 p.m. until 4:30 p.m. at Porter Starke Services, located at 701 Wall St. in Valparaiso.
  • Monday, Aug. 30, from 9:30 a.m. until 12 noon at Purdue North Central University, located at 1401 South U.S. 421 in Westville.
  • Friday, Sept. 3, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at Porter Hospital Valparaiso Campus in the Patio Room, located at 814 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
  • Friday, Sept. 3, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Porter County Career Center in the Health Education Classrooms, located at 1005 N. Franklin St. in Valparaiso.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 7, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church in the Community Room, located at 509 W. Division Road in Valparaiso.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 8, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at First Christian Church in the Fellowship Hall, located at 1507 Glendale Blvd. in Valparaiso.
  • Thursday, Sept. 9, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Hopewell Mennonite Church in the Meeting Hall, located on SR 49 in Kouts.
  • Friday, Sept. 10, from 12 noon until 5 p.m. at McAfee Animal Hospital, located at 651 Eastport Centre Dr. in Valparaiso.
  • Friday, Sept. 10, from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Portage Avenue Baptist Church in the Sanctuary Room, located at 6605 Portage Ave. in Portage.
  • Friday, Sept. 10, from 2:30 p.m. until 6:30 p.m. at Our Lady of Sorrows, located at 356 West 700 North in Valparaiso.
  • Monday, Sept. 13, from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. at St. Teresa of Avila in the Community Room, located at 1511 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
  • Monday, Sept. 13, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at St. Paul Catholic Church in the Social Hall, located at 1855 W. Harrison Blvd. in Valparaiso.
  • Tuesday, Sept. 14, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at Valparaiso University in Harre Union, Ballrooms B & C, located at 1509 Campus Drive in Valparaiso.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Ivy Tech Community College in the South Commons Area, rooms 106 and 110, located at 3100 Ivy Tech Drive in Valparaiso.

How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.

About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in more than 60 hospitals. In addition to supplying nearly half of the nation’s blood, the American Red Cross teaches lifesaving skills, provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization—not a government agency—and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission.