Every day this summer is a chance to give hope to patients in need. The American Red Cross urges individuals to choose their day to give hope by making an appointment to donate blood or platelets.
Summer can be a busy time of year with family vacations, pool parties and other fun activities; however, patients don’t get a summer vacation from needing blood. Patients like 6-year-old Joshua Dri, of Cumming, Georgia, are counting on the generosity of Red Cross blood donors to continue donating through the summer, so he can enjoy the fun of being a little boy.
BRAVERY COMES IN SMALL PACKAGES It is hard to tell Joshua struggles with a blood disorder just by looking at him. He’s happy, energetic and has a smile that would make any heart melt. Joshua is also proof that bravery can come in small packages. Joshua lives with Thalassemia and must undergo blood transfusions every three to four weeks. Going in and out of the hospital is difficult for a child, but Joshua keeps his positive spirit. His parents couldn’t be more grateful for the generosity of others.
“Blood donors play a significant role in our family's life. Every time a unit of blood is hooked up to his IV, I think about the person who donated it and how they have no idea what a difference they made by taking the time out of their day to donate,” said Joshua’s mother Alison Dri. “Blood donors are truly heroes and lifesavers. We are profoundly aware of this as we watch our son grow and thrive.”
DONORS NEEDED NOW All eligible donors are encouraged to make and keep donation appointments this month to help maintain the summer blood supply and prevent a shortage. Blood and platelet donations often decline during the summer when schools are out of session and regular donors are on vacation. Donors of all blood types are currently needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood. Platelet donors are also needed.
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 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.