The community is invited to give blood in honor of Erik Matich at a special American Red Cross blood drive held in his name Monday, Jan. 7, from 2 to 6 p.m. at United Methodist Church, 211 North St., in Niantic.
Erik is a happy and energetic four-year-old. He was diagnosed with acute lymphocytic leukemia in September 2017. He has received blood and platelet transfusions during months of intense treatments and is anticipating needing more transfusions as his treatment continues.
“Erik would not be able to recovery from his chemotherapy without lifesaving transfusions,” said Alysia Matich, Erik’s mother. “We are having this blood drive for Erik to raise awareness about how important blood donors are in helping to treat patients with cancer. We are asking people in the community to come out and give blood in Erik’s name.”
This blood drive comes as the Red Cross has a critical need for all blood products.
“There are so many reasons why someone may need blood that we don’t even realize,” said Caleb Liggin, donor recruitment account manager for the Red Cross Heart of America Blood Services Region. “We take for granted that blood will be there at the hospital when we need it, but it can only come from generous volunteer donors. Giving blood in Erik’s name is a wonderful way to honor him and potentially help others in need.”
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.
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.