Summer is well underway. While many are enjoying the fun of their favorite season, hospital patients are counting on people to remember one thing amidst all the excitement—give hope with a lifesaving blood or platelet donation.
THE REALITIES OF SUMMER It’s always difficult to collect enough blood to meet patient needs, but it’s even more difficult during the summer months when schools are out and families are visiting with friends and loved ones. In addition, donations often drop during the Independence Day holiday week when many donors are traveling and vacationing. It’s important to remember that patients don’t get a vacation from needing blood and platelets. The need is constant.
CLOSE TO HOME The McAninch family knows the need for blood firsthand, and they don’t want others to take it for granted. Now, giving blood is in their blood. Rodney McAninch had donated for years before the need hit close to home when he received seven units of blood in 2005. Today, Rodney’s wife, Tina, along with their children, Bradley and Michaela, donate blood and platelets because they saw how it helped save their dad.
“I’ve seen so many people in my life, including my husband, receive blood, so I know how important it is,” said Tina McAninch. “I’m so proud of my kids putting their own fears aside to help someone else. It just makes me ecstatic.”
BE INSPIRED Genny Bingaman always watched with pride as her husband Rob donated blood—until tragedy struck. Rob, a beloved police officer, died in a car crash last October. Genny and her daughter Morgan now give blood in his memory.
“We feel honored to do so,” said Genny. “Knowing that something good can come out of such heartache is how we honor and remember our loved ones.”
CHOOSE YOUR DAY Will it be today or tomorrow? There’s still time to choose a day and help save lives this summer. From now, through July 7, presenting blood and platelet donors at Red Cross blood donation centers and blood drives will receive a commemorative Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. It is just a small token of appreciation for providing hope to patients and their families this summer.
All eligible donors are encouraged to make and keep donation appointments to help maintain the summer blood supply and prevent a shortage. Donors of all blood types are currently needed, especially those with types O negative, B negative and A negative blood.
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.