GREENWOOD, Ind. (Dec. 6, 2018) — More than 50 children in Johnson County have been diagnosed with rare forms of blood and brain cancer in the last 10 years, according to the Indy Star, as reported in July of this year. The families of some of those children have partnered with the American Red Cross for a special Kids Kicking Cancer blood drive to honor kids and bring in much needed blood for patients. The event will take place Saturday, Dec. 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Greenwood Christian Church in Greenwood with a goal of 150 blood donations.
Cancer patients may need blood products during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications. More than 1.7 million new cases of cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the U.S. this year, according to the American Cancer Society. According to reports by WTHR-TV 13 in Nov. 2015, Johnson County has a childhood cancer rate higher than the state and national averages.
For patients like 15-year-old Cooper Davis, blood donations mean life. Cooper is a student at Greenwood High School and was diagnosed at age 11 with Philadelphia chromosome positive B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). Cooper and other Johnson County children now receive regular blood transfusions as part of their cancer treatment. The medical treatments for these children alone may require hundreds of blood products.
Cooper’s family, along with the families of 8-year-old Indian Creek Elementary School student Grant Harding and 14-year-old Indian Creek High School student Zane Davidson, invite the community to give the gift of life in honor of children and others battling cancer.
“These children are a reminder that we never know who may end up needing blood transfusions,” said Donna Watkins, donor recruitment manager for the Red Cross. “When someone we know has cancer we often wonder what we can do to help. Giving blood is a wonderful way to give back that can literally help save the lives of those being treated for cancer.”
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross faces a blood shortage. During September and October, the Red Cross collected over 21,000 fewer blood and platelet donations than what hospitals needed – largely due to less groups signing up to host blood drives and worsened by widespread blood drive cancellations caused by hurricanes Florence and Michael. Blood donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urgently needed to give now to avoid delays in lifesaving medical care for patients. Volunteer blood drive hosts are also critically needed to stop the shortage from continuing throughout winter.
Every two seconds in the United States blood is needed to respond to patient emergencies, including accident and burn victims, heart surgery and organ transplant patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease. The Red Cross must collect more than 13,000 blood and platelet donations every day for the patients at about 2,600 hospitals nationwide, including 80 hospitals in Indiana.
Kids Kicking Cancer Blood Drive
Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018
10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Greenwood Christian Church
2045 Averitt Road, Greenwood, IN 46143
Sponsor code: KickingCancer
Those who come to give blood or platelets with the Red Cross from Nov. 25 to Dec. 19 will receive a $5 Amazon.com gift card via email. (Restrictions apply; see amazon.com/gc-legal. More information and details are available at RedCrossBlood.org/Together.)
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, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.
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.