The American Red Cross asks eligible blood and platelet donors to schedule time to give the perfect gift – the gift of life. Donations often decline from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Day, yet the need for blood continues. Roll up a sleeve this holiday season – the Red Cross will take care of the wrapping and delivery to a patient in need.
CALEB’S STORY Caleb Moraine is an 18 year-old who hopes to start college next year. He enjoys swimming, camping, photography, video games, drums and loves spending time with dogs Otis and Manny.
Caleb also began fighting Ewing's Sarcoma at age 16, a rare form of bone cancer. His treatment included chemotherapy, radiation and hip replacement surgery. Caleb’s cancer went into remission – then returned earlier this year. And so Caleb continues his battle.
"Cancer has robbed Caleb of a lot of his teenage years,” said his mother, Renee. “He missed most of high school and self-taught his way to graduate with his class. No proms. No school activities. No hanging out with his friends. But Caleb is a fighter and a brave warrior."
Since 2014, Caleb has received more than 50 blood and platelet transfusions. Transfusions help Caleb recover from chemotherapy treatments that destroy vital components in his blood. His family is grateful to the generous blood donors who help Caleb face this challenge.
"Each and every one has been life saving for him," Renee said. “When he is receiving a blood transfusion you can watch the transformation taking place. When done with a transfusion he is energized and ready to get back to living life to its fullest."
Give the gift that helps patients in their battle against illness and injury. As a special thank you, all who donate between December 22 and January 8 will receive a long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
TIS THE SEASON FOR GIVING Schedule an appointment to donate using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
Eligible donors with types O, B negative or A negative blood are especially needed, and encouraged to make a Power Red donation, if available. Power Red donors give a concentrated dose of red blood cells during a single donation, allowing them to maximize their impact. During this type of donation, red blood cells are separated from other blood components, and the plasma and platelets are safely and comfortably returned to the donor.
Platelets are constantly in demand, and often needed by those who are extremely ill. Unlike whole blood, which can be safely donated every 56 days, platelets can be donated every seven days, up to 24 times a year. Platelets must be transfused within five days of donation, so it’s important that eligible platelet donors give as often as possible.
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 or platelets. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.
TEAM UP FOR A VIRTUAL DRIVE It only takes a few minutes to create a SleevesUp virtual blood drive online at redcrossblood.org/SleevesUp. Once a campaign is created, invite colleagues, friends and family to pledge their support by making an appointment to donate at a blood drive or donation center convenient for them. Those who are not eligible to give blood, do not have a Red Cross blood donation opportunity nearby or simply want to do more can support a SleevesUp campaign by making a financial donation.