Northfield man credits blood donation with early cancer diagnosis

July 16, 2013

NORTHFIELD, Minn.  — Northfield resident George Kinney had been a dedicated blood donor for more than 30 years.

Following a donation in 2011, he received a call from an American Red Cross medical director who informed him that his white blood cell count was extremely high and that he should see a doctor immediately.

After Kinney saw his doctor, he was diagnosed with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), a disease in which the bone marrow makes too many white blood cells.

I was so surprised to get a call from the Red Cross,” Kinney said. “I was feeling a little under the weather and thought I was just run down, but the doctor informed me that it was likely more than that. I never would have thought that when I went to donate blood that day that the life I would be saving would be my own.”

My oncologist credits early diagnosis and treatment of my CML for a good outcome and a good quality of life. I am grateful to the Red Cross for the tests they do to help ensure the blood supply is safe."

Today Kinney is in stable condition and enjoys being a semi-retired environmental chemist.

My life is better because the CML was discovered early. This is something that I will always have to be treated for, but I’m feeling good — it’s my new normal.”

Upcoming Northfield Community Blood Drives:

July 25 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Northfield Hospital, 2000 North Ave. in Northfield, Minn.
Aug. 2 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Culver’s, 960 Highway 3 South in Northfield, Minn.
Aug. 5 from 1-7 p.m. at Northfield Ballroom, 1055 Highway 3 North in Northfield, Minn.
Aug. 6 from 1-7 p.m. at Northfield Ballroom, 1055 Highway 3 North in Northfield, Minn.
Aug. 21 from 1-7 p.m. at the Senior Center, 1651 Jefferson Parkway in Northfield, Minn.

For more than 70 years, the Northfield community has hosted Red Cross blood drives, and the community will have several opportunities to continue its tradition of supporting the lifesaving mission of the Red Cross. The need for blood is constant. Every day the Red Cross must collect almost 17,000 pints of blood for patients in need including accident victims, surgery patients, cancer patients, premature babies and children with blood disorders.

The Red Cross urgently needs donations to ensure an adequate blood supply is available for patients all summer long.  Eligible donors with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood are especially encouraged to give. Type O negative is the universal blood type and can be transfused to anyone who needs blood. Types A negative and B negative can be transfused to Rh positive or negative patients.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit 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 (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.

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 or join our blog at