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Help kids kick cancer by giving blood with the Red Cross

August 30, 2018

During Childhood Cancer Awareness Month this September, the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to support kids, teens and young adults battling cancer, as well as others in need of transfusions.

According to the National Cancer Institute, more than 15,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. are diagnosed with cancer each year. Childhood cancer patients may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.

Wren Jansen was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, the most common form of childhood cancer, at age 3. In the two years since her diagnosis, Wren has received 16 blood and platelet transfusions, which she calls “unicorn juice,” thanks to a crafty nurse who used the term to calm her fears during treatment. These “magic” gifts from generous donors have helped restore Wren’s strength and spirit so she can be a normal 5-year-old and fight back against cancer.

In December, Wren and her family hope to mark a special milestone — the end of treatment and the battle with cancer won.

Blood and platelet donors of all blood types, especially type O negative and O positive, are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply following a critical summer blood shortage. As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets Aug. 31-Sept. 4 will receive a Red Cross aluminum water bottle, while supplies last. Make an appointment to donate by downloading the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Ashland

• Sept. 7:10:30 a.m.- 4 p.m., Central Fire Station, 1021 Carter Ave

• Sept. 14:2-6 p.m., Elks Lodge, 900 Carter Ave

Proctorville

• Sept. 12:9 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., Fairland High School, 812 County Road 411

Portsmouth

• Sept. 4:9 a.m.-l:30 p.m., Southern Ohio Medical Center, 1805 27th Street

• Sept. 5:10 a.m.-4 p.m., Morris University Center, 940 2nd St.

• Sept. 6:10 a.m.-3:30 p.m., Morris University Center, 940 2nd St.

Huntington

• Sept. 10:10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Huntington Blood Donation Center, 1111 Veterans Memorial Blvd.

• Sept. 13:11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Marshall University Memorial Student Center, MSC 2W40 One John Marshall Drive

How to donate blood

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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.

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.

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