A beloved Myrtle Beach area philanthropist recently went to the hospital to receive platelets as part of his ongoing cancer treatment. He waited six hours only to find out that there were no platelets on the hospital shelves and his transfusion would be postponed.
In the meantime, a call tree went out to friends and family to request platelet donations to help stock hospital shelves. Virginia 'Ginny' Maynard answered the call.
"My friend has done so many wonderful things for me; I thought I could certainly step up and give platelets," said Ginny on her appreciation for her friend in need. "He’s helped so many people in our community; giving platelets is an easy way to give back to him.”
Platelets give cancer patients the strength they need to keep fighting. Unfortunately, while cancer patients undergo treatment, a major side effect is low platelet count. Without a platelet transfusion, cancer patients face life-threatening bleeding because platelets help the blood to clot.
Ginny rallied her friends Donna Castles, Judy Smith, and Margo Stilley for what she called a “platelet party” in honor of her friend. Together, they all attempted to donate platelets for the first time at the blood collection center in Myrtle Beach.
“I know the struggle he’s going through. I have several friends battling cancer,” said Judy. “It’s one way that we can make a difference. We can’t do anything to help people feel better, but this is one way that we can show them our love and care for them through giving platelets.”
This story reminds us that it's the blood products already on the shelves that help those in need. Luckily, the individual battling cancer was able to receive the platelets he needed the next day.
Every day, the Red Cross must collect more than 2,700 platelet donations for patients in need, and about half of those go to cancer patients. Platelets also help patients survive major surgeries or serious injuries, and platelets give strength to patients with blood disorders and those with transplants. Platelet transfusions go a long way to help keep these patients going and live more active healthy lives.
“I was delighted to give. It made me feel good about myself,” said Judy on donating platelets. “The people at the collection center were all caring people, and they did everything they could to make our experience a pleasant one and to keep us comfortable.”
Because platelets must be used within five days, new donors are needed every day. That’s why we need you. Join Ginny, Judy, and many other generous donors by signing up to donate platelets at redcrossblood.org.