Blood donation

(File photo/southernminn.com)

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to band together to provide hope and healing to patients fighting cancer by giving blood or platelets. In appreciation, those who come to give Oct. 15-Nov. 11 will receive a $5 Amazon gift card, via email, courtesy of Suburban Propane.

Donors are asked to make appointments by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Donors of all blood types are urged to help ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall.

Blood donations play a crucial role in cancer treatment

Diane Doehrman began donating blood during college. In the years following, she became a platelet donor and even helped start blood drives in her community. More recently, Doehrman’s been on the receiving end of blood donations. Fourteen years ago, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Now she has an incurable cancer, malignant mixed Müllerian tumor.

“As a cancer patient, I had to have blood transfusions several times when the chemotherapy treatments have destroyed my immune system,” she said. “I am so very thankful for the donations from others. It can truly save a life.”

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.

The Red Cross is also 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.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities Oct. 15-31 include:

9 a.m.-3 p.m. Oct. 22 at the St. Peter Community Center, 600 S. Fifth St. in St. Peter; 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Oct. 23 at Tri-City United High School, 700 Fourth St. NW in Montgomery.

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