The holiday season is an exciting time of year with festivities, shopping and travel to see loved ones. Amid the holiday hustle and bustle, it is also a challenging time of year for busy people to donate blood and platelets. However, patients don’t get a holiday from needing blood.
The American Red Cross encourages individuals to give the lifesaving gift of blood and platelets, bringing hope to patients in need – patients like Matt Bishop who count on the generosity of blood donors.
“BLOOD SAVED MY LIFE”
Bishop feels truly thankful this holiday season. This time last year, he was in a horrific accident when his pickup truck smashed into a semi truck on the highway. Bishop suffered multiple broken bones, lost a tremendous amount of blood, and lost his right leg. For 12 weeks, he fought to survive and received multiple blood transfusions. He credits blood donors with his survival.
“Two gallons of blood saved my life after this accident,” said Bishop. “I can’t say thank you enough to everyone who donates blood, platelets and plasma. You are my heroes.”
Bishop’s story is an important reminder that patients can need blood at any time, and it is the blood already on the shelves that helps save lives in an emergency such as a car accident. It is especially critical this time of year as many people are traveling over the holidays to be with family and friends.
LONG-SLEEVE T-SHIRT FOR DONORS
To encourage donations over the holidays, those who come to donate between December 22 and January 8 will receive a long-sleeve Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last. Blood and platelet donors of all types are needed to give this December and through the new year to help ensure a sufficient supply for hospital patients.
MAKE AN APPOINTMENT TO DONATE BLOOD OR PLATELETS
Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or to receive more information.
All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.
Donors can use RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or laptop. Visit redcrossblood.org/RapidPass to get started.
CREATE A SLEEVESUP CAMPAIGN
SleevesUp lets those who feel passionate about blood donation create a virtual blood drive and encourage colleagues, friends and family members to give blood or platelets, or make a financial donation to support their campaign. SleevesUp campaigns allow people to honor someone’s life, celebrate a special occasion or simply bring others together to help save lives – any time of the year – regardless of location. To learn more about SleevesUp campaigns, visit redcrossblood.org/SleevesUp.