Red Cross, American Cancer Society needs more blood donations during ‘challenging’ summer months

Updated: Jun. 4, 2021 at 7:05 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The American Red Cross is making a push for more blood donations as they say the summer months are usually the most challenging for them. Right now, the need is even greater.

“People start to take vacations and schools go into their summer sessions,” said Jon McNamara with the American Red Cross.

With COVID restrictions lifting, more medical procedures are back on the table, and there’s more need for blood, especially for cancer patients. This is why the Red Cross is teaming with the American Cancer Society.

“So many of us have been touched by cancer; whether it’s a personal struggle or watching a family member battle this disease,” said McNamara.

The collaboration called ‘Give Blood to Give Time’ hopes to stress the need for blood for cancer patients, with help of cancer survivors like pro-footballer James Connor, of the Arizona Cardinals.

“Donating blood is one of the best things you can do to help families. It’s what they need the most, and only 3% of the American public does it,” Connor said in a taped interview for the campaign.

The need isn’t just for blood, but the Red Cross says there’s an emergency need for platelets also.

“Platelets are an important piece in the clotting aspect of blood, which is something that patients with blood disorders and blood cancers can’t really experience. Blood and platelets are going out the door faster than they’re coming in.”

But of course, not everyone can give blood, and there are other ways to help.

“Helping to raise awareness on social media. If you’ve ever had cancer or you had a family member who’s struggled with it, sharing your personal story about the impact blood made on your journey is really critical. But also volunteering. Every one of our Red Cross blood drives is supported by volunteers here in the community,” McNamara added.

Donation events can be found here.

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