During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to support cancer patients and others needing blood products.
According to the American Cancer Society, breast cancer is the second most common cancer among women in the U.S., with one in eight developing invasive breast cancer in her lifetime. Breast cancer patients may need blood products during chemotherapy, mastectomy surgery or treatment of complications.
Blood donor Mary Thorngate Hall is one such example. She was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer in 2010.
“I began treatment (with) my first round of chemotherapy lasting six hours. My body did not tolerate it, and I began to hemorrhage,” she said. “I needed blood to survive. I cannot express my gratitude to the people who donated their lifesaving blood.”
Volunteer donors are the only source of blood products for those needing transfusions. Donors with all blood types are needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative, A negative and AB blood.
To make an appointment to donate blood, download the Red Cross Blood Donor App from app stores or text BLOODAPP to 90999 to receive a download link, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Upcoming blood donation opportunities:
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 (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.