October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month – the perfect time to give blood or platelets to support cancer patients and others.
Anna Gwinnup, a loving wife, mother and grandmother, was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer in September 2017. Within weeks, it advanced to stage 2, forcing her to undergo a double mastectomy, chemotherapy and multiple surgeries, which required blood products.
Though she was a blood donor prior to her diagnosis, Gwinnup now has a new passion for the cause. “I want to raise awareness about the need for blood to treat cancer,” she said.
Cancer patients may need red blood cell or platelet transfusions during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.
Donors of all blood types are needed to help ensure a sufficient supply for patients this fall, especially after Hurricane Florence and subsequent flooding forced the cancellation of more than 6,000 blood and platelet donations last month.
Make an appointment to donate blood by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
As a thank-you, those who come to donate blood or platelets in October will automatically be entered to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants. Learn more at RedCrossBlood.org/GoForGoal.
How to donate blood
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) 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.