MACON, Ga. (Nov. 9, 2020) — Blood donations typically decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day as people get busy with holiday activities and travel. That’s why the American Red Cross needs eligible donors to give the gift of life for patients this Thanksgiving season by donating blood with 41NBC/WMGT Monday, Nov. 23 through Saturday, Nov. 28 at several area locations.
Who blood donations help
On March 4, 2020 at the age of seven, Ansley was diagnosed with b-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, also known as ALL. Her condition requires multiple blood product transfusions. Childhood ALL is the most common type of childhood cancer. It has a 90-95% cure rate that requires two to three years of intense treatment.
Ansley is a second grader at St. Alphonsus Elementary School. She is outgoing, kind, funny and very smart. She enjoys dancing and singing with her family and friends and has a beautiful soul.
“She is beautiful inside and out and is kicking cancer’s butt like the little warrior princess that she is,” said Michelle Gilich, Ansley’s mother. “We know there’s an urgent need for blood products due to the coronavirus pandemic and we want to help as much as we can.”
Donors of all blood types are urged to help ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall.
“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Ronnika A. McFall, external communications manager of the Red Cross Georgia Blood Services Region. “We take for granted that blood products will be there at the hospital when we need them, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors. Giving blood, for patients like Ansley, is a wonderful way to give back this holiday.”
Cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy may require red blood cell or platelet transfusions. In fact, patients fighting cancer need more blood than those with any other disease, using nearly one-quarter of the nation’s blood supply.
Important COVID-19 information for donors
The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.
COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.
Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.
Help save lives at one of the following blood drives:
11/23/2020: 3 – 7 p.m. PruittHealth Hospice, 6060 Lakeside Commons Dr., Macon – conference room.
11/24/2020: noon – 5 p.m., Central Georgia Technical College, 54 22 W., Milledgeville - Room 202 Health Science Building.
11/25/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stubbs Park Gym, 130 Park Place, Dublin – activities room.
11/25/2020: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Houston County Galleria Mall, 2950 Watson Blvd, Centerville – inside mall.
11/27/2020: 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m., Carl Vinson VA Medical Center, 1826 Veterans Blvd., Dublin – Auditorium.
11/27/2020: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Allied Arts Baldwin County Community, 101 W. McIntosh, Milledgeville.
11/28/2020: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Houston County Galleria, 2950 Watson Blvd., Centerville.
How to donate blood
For more information and to make an appointment to donate, download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. sponsor code: 41NBC. Donors of all blood types are needed. 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.
Blood donors can now save time at their next donation by using RapidPass® to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, from a computer or mobile device on the day of their donation, prior to arriving at the blood drive. 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% 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.