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Be an Everyday Hero by giving blood during 
Red Cross Month

Central Plains Blood Services Region

March 5, 2013
 

WICHITA, Kan, (March 4, 2013) — Blood donors are Everyday Heroes who help save lives. During Red Cross Month, the American Red Cross recognizes these lifesavers, thanks them for their generosity and encourages others to join their ranks.

"Red Cross Month is an ideal time for people to show support for our mission," said Terri Dunaway, CEO of the Central Plains Blood Services Region. "Anyone can become an Everyday Hero by giving blood or platelets, becoming a volunteer, making a financial donation or taking a class."

March was first proclaimed Red Cross Month in 1943 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Since that time, every president, including President Barack Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. The Red Cross has been helping people for more than 130 years.

The need for blood is constant. From cancer patients and accident victims to premature babies and those with blood disorders, someone in the U.S. needs blood every two seconds.

Angie Whiteman knows firsthand that blood donors are Everyday Heroes. Angie was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2012.  She was immediately hospitalized for a month of intense chemo therapy, followed by two additional rounds of outpatient chemo. Her body did not tolerate the second round of outpatient chemo and she was hospitalized in the intensive care unit for two weeks, fighting for her life.  Angie is now at home, continuing her recovery and will soon begin lower dose outpatient chemo to continue her battle against leukemia.  During her most critical times, blood helped keep Angie alive.  Over the past 6 months, she has received over 50 units of donated blood and platelets.

"I've donated blood multiple times in the past," said Angie. "But, I never realized how lifesaving blood truly is until I needed so much of it to save my own life."

In addition to collecting and distributing about 40 percent of the nation's blood supply, the Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year in the U.S., providing shelter, food, emotional support and other necessities to those affected. The organization also offers 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world – and trains more than 7 million people in first aid, water safety and other lifesaving skills every year.

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.

About the American Red Cross

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent 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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

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