Carmen Sleight proudly wears her T-shirt quilt “cape.”
The American Red Cross announces that platelet donors William Hicks of Georgia and Carmen Sleight of Massachusetts each won a unique quilt made of Red Cross T-shirts, which was sewn by devoted volunteers.
“I feel like a hero,” Sleight said. “The quilt feels more like a cape. I love donating platelets. It's my free Netflix access, but it's way more. My grandfather has been fighting cancer, and I figure I can fight cancer too.”
All presenting platelet donors in the month of July were automatically entered into the quilt sweepstakes. Summer is a challenging time to collect enough platelets to support patient need, and the Red Cross is grateful to the generous donors who answered the call to give and to the volunteers who crafted the beautiful quilts.
What are platelets
Platelets are tiny cells that form clots and stop bleeding. About 2 million units of platelets are transfused each year in the U.S., and more than half of all donated platelets go to cancer patients.
Because platelets must be transfused within just five days from the time they are donated, platelet donors have the power to help save up to three lives within days of their donation.
How to donate platelets
Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, 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 platelet 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. 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 donation center. 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% 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.
William Hicks donated his T-shirt quilt to his local Red Cross donation center so all donors could enjoy it.