BILOXI, Miss. — This holiday season, the American Red Cross and WLOX encourage individuals to be the lifeline for patients in need and give something that means something – a blood donation. This simple, potentially lifesaving act can give patients in need another holiday season with family and friends.
The WLOX-TV Annual New Year Blood Drive will be held Thursday, Dec. 26 through Saturday, Dec. 28, during multiple times at Edgewater Mall – outside of Belk, 2600 Beach Blvd., in Biloxi. All presenting donors will receive a special Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
Giving blood is an easy way to impact someone’s life while impacting the community. Blood transfusion is the fourth most common inpatient hospital procedure in the U.S. Yet, only 3 out of 100 people in the U.S. give blood. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood donations every day for patients in need, like Ryder Oliver.
On March 26, 2018, Ryder Oliver was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor called medulloblastoma at the age of 3. He immediately underwent a 5 1/2 hour brain surgery to remove the tumor and then received his first of many blood transfusions. Ryder then completed three rounds of chemotherapy, three rounds of high dose chemotherapy and three stem cell transplants. He finished his treatment Oct. 12, 2018, and he is currently in remission.
“Survivors like Ryder help remind us why donating blood is a great way to give back and help patients who don’t get a holiday break from needing blood,” said Ronnika A. McFall, external communications manager of the Red Cross Alabama-Mississippi Blood Services Region. “This creates a greater need for donations during the winter months. We thank WLOX and the Gulf coast community for a long-standing tradition of donating and making it possible for others to receive the blood products they need for the past three decades.”
Donors of all blood types are encouraged to make an appointment. Eligible donors with types O, A negative and B negative blood are urged to make a Power Red donation. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
How to donate blood
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org sponsor code WLOX or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device 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 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 and platelet 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 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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.