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Blood donations critical in fight against cancer, organizations say

Posted at 6:51 PM, Feb 10, 2020

The American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society have formed a partnership in hopes of growing blood donations, which the organizations say are "critical" in the fight against cancer.

According to the American Cancer Society, nearly one fourth of all blood donations are used for cancer patients.

The American Cancer Society said that chemotherapy and radiation can damage the body's ability to generate healthy blood cells and cause potentially life-threatening conditions. It added that blood transfusions help to provide patients with critical clotting factors, proteins and antibodies needed to help their bodies fight back.

The campaign is being dubbed "Give Blood to Give Time."

"The need for blood in cancer treatments is an important and untold story," said Gary Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. "The American Cancer Society is excited to be working with the Red Cross on Give Blood to Give Time. Through this partnership, we want people to know there are multiple ways they can help and make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and their families."

Here are the ways to help, according to the American Cancer Society:

Here are three ways to give to help cancer patients in need today:

  • Donate blood to the American Red Cross to provide lifesaving blood products to cancer patients when they need it.
  • Give a financial gift to the American Cancer Society to support its comprehensive approach to attacking cancer that includes breakthrough research, free rides to treatment, free lodging near hospitals and a live 24/7 helpline.
  • Give a financial gift to the American Red Cross to support the collection and distribution of lifesaving blood products to cancer patients in need.

Here are the requirements to donate blood, according to the American Cancer Society:

To donate blood, individuals need to bring a blood donor card or driver's license or two other forms of identification that 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 general good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also must meet certain height and weight requirements.