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Red Cross, Cancer Society team up: Cancer patients in need of blood donations

The American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society have teamed up this month to encourage people across the country to Give Blood to Give Time, ensuring loved ones have the strength and support to battle cancer.

Patients fighting cancer need more blood than patients fighting any other disease, using nearly one-quarter of the nation’s blood supply.

According to the American Cancer Society, 1 in 3 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. An estimated 71,850 new cases of cancer will be diagnosed in Ohio this year; 71,850 in Ohio; 26,500 in Kentucky; and 12,380 in West Virginia.

Many of these people will likely have a need for blood.

“A loved one’s cancer diagnosis often makes families and friends feel helpless. That’s why the Give Blood to Give Time partnership with the American Cancer Society is so important,” said Dr. Pampee Young, chief medical officer, American Red Cross. “When someone donates blood or platelets or makes a financial gift, they are helping to give patients and their families time, resources and the hope they need to fight back.”

Some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, reducing red blood cell and platelet production. Other times, the cancer itself or surgical procedures cause the problem. Blood products are often needed. In fact, five units of blood are needed every minute to help someone going through cancer treatment. Yet only 3 percent of people in the United States give blood. More people are needed to donate regularly to help meet the need.

“The need for blood in cancer treatments is an important and untold story,” said Gary Reedy, chief executive officer of the American Cancer Society. “The American Cancer Society is excited to be working with the Red Cross on Give Blood to Give Time. Through this partnership, we want people to know there are multiple ways they can help and make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and their families.”

There will be several blood drives in Lawrence County for people to make donations at these times and locations:

  Proctorville, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Feb. 18, Fairland High School, 812 County Road 411

• Ironton, 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Feb. 20, Ohio University Riffe Center, 1804 Liberty Ave.

• Ironton, 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Feb. 27, Rock Hill High School, 2415 County Road 26.

• South Point, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Feb. 29, Tri-State Worship Center, 901 Solida Road

Individuals can honor their loved ones by making a blood donation appointment or financial contribution at GiveBloodToGiveTime.org.