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Holiday Travel Expected to Impact Blood Donations

Five-year-old Irelynn Rose

Volunteer blood donors help patients like 5-year-old Irelynn Rose celebrate Independence Day with her family.

Patients don’t get a holiday from needing lifesaving blood transfusions.

More than 40 percent of regular blood donors may be traveling this holiday weekend, making them unavailable to give blood according to a recent American Red Cross survey.

To help prevent a summer shortage, the Red Cross is asking all eligible donors to make their appointments now to give blood or platelets around Independence Day. As Americans take time out of their schedules for travel, parades, backyard parties and fireworks, patients like 5-year-old Irelynn Rose cannot take a time out from needing lifesaving transfusions.

INSPIRATION FROM IRELYNN Irelynn is a sweet and spunky girl with an infectious smile. She is also something else – brave – as she battles a health crisis that most kids her age don’t have to face. Irelynn lives with a rare blood disorder called Diamond Blackfan Anemia (DBA). There currently is no cure, so she must endure blood transfusions every three weeks as part of her treatment. Irelynn has already received more than 80 blood transfusions.

“Above all, we continue to be thankful. We are thankful for another three weeks to have Irelynn,” said Irelynn’s dad Nick Rose. “Our biggest thank you is to the blood donors...for selflessly giving our daughter the precious gift of three more weeks of life.”

“We could never express how much blood donors mean to us,” said Rose. “We are beyond grateful! Anytime we see a blood drive, we will stop so Irelynn can go inside and thank donors personally.”

DONORS NEEDED NOW Blood donors with all types, especially O negative, A negative and B negative, and platelet donors are urged to schedule an appointment. Those who come to donate from July 2-6 will receive a Red Cross embroidered baseball cap, while supplies last.

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. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO GIVE For more information or to schedule an appointment to donate blood, call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org. Donors can also use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, which is free and available for download now. 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.

Tags: Blood 2015.
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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