The holidays can be a busy time of year with shopping, travel and festivities. Amid the holiday hustle and bustle, it is also a challenging time of year to collect blood. However, patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood. Throughout the holiday season, the American Red Cross encourages individuals to give the lifesaving gift of blood and bring hope to patients in need – patients like 12-year-old Daisy Hoffman who count on the generosity of blood donors.
MEET BLOOD RECIPIENT DAISY Daisy received her first blood transfusion immediately after birth. She was diagnosed with gastroschisis, a congenital condition in which the intestines develop outside the body. With surgery needed, Daisy lived in the neonatal intensive care unit for seven months. She continued to experience complications, and at age three, Daisy received a small bowel, liver and pancreas transplant – along with more blood.
“Each year, we celebrate the anniversary of Daisy’s transplant as her rebirthday,” said Daisy’s mother Joey Hoffman. “Scores of heroes helped save my daughter’s life by sharing their blood with her.”
Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. As the single largest blood supplier in the U.S., the Red Cross provides approximately 40 percent of the nation's blood supply. Each day, the Red Cross needs about 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients like Daisy.
SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT TO GIVE This holiday season spread hope by donating blood or platelets. Accident and burn victims, organ transplant patients, heart surgery patients, and those receiving treatment for leukemia, cancer or sickle cell disease may need blood products.
Blood can be safely donated every 56 days. Platelets can be given every seven days – up to 24 times a year. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in most 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.
For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767), visit redcrossblood.org or use the Red Cross Blood Donor App. It can be found in app stores by searching for American Red Cross, visiting redcross.org/apps or redcrossblood.org/bloodapp, or by texting BLOODAPP to 90999 for a direct link to download. Message and data rates for texting may apply.