Give the gift of life

The holiday season, Thanksgiving through the middle of January, is a traditionally challenging time for collecting blood.

The Red Cross predicts that this year may prove to be particularly challenging. Based on current holiday projections, the Red Cross could see 18% fewer donors or 1,600 fewer donors each week over the coming holiday season. This could affect hundreds, if not thousands, of patients in need over the holidays.

The reduction in the number of donors is caused by several factors including a trend in fewer donors attending blood drives, donors not keeping appointments, flu and other seasonal illnesses and some companies canceling or reducing the size of blood drives due to economics. In addition, high schools, colleges and many companies are closed or on holiday schedules.

You can help make sure blood is available for patients this holiday season. If you have a drive scheduled:

– Remind your donors to eat well and drink plenty of caffeine-free fluids before donating.

– Make sure your donors keep their appointments.

– Have donors call 1-866-562-7156 if they have eligibility questions.

– Ensure donors understand the importance of blood donations this holiday season.

– January–$500 gift cards (2 to be given away)

One of The Many Reasons To Donate Blood or Platelets

Nearly a year after falling down stairs, Victoria Martinsen’s life has been a whirlwind of countless medical tests, surgeries, rounds of chemotherapy,setbacks, optimism and hope. Following trips to a chiropractor and orthopedic specialist, Victoria was diagnosed with the rare spinal disease Vertebral Plana (VP).

When her left leg continued to show weaknesses and stomach pains would not subside, MRI tests revealed a mass tumor on Victoria’s tail bone. Further tests revealed her tumor was the rare ‘Germ Cell,’ which only occurs in 1 or 2 children out of a million each year.

Spots have also been found on Victoria’s lungs as well as cancer tissue on a now-collapsed vertebra. Victoria has endured over a half dozen surgeries and several rounds of chemotherapy. She has also undergone many blood and platelet transfusions. Lung issues have disappeared, but the spots on her spine and the two collapsed vertebrae remain.

Today, Victoria continues to battle Stage 4 cancer. Additional rounds of chemotherapy to address the cancer in her pelvis continue. Victoria’s parents are so thankful that sponsors and donors helped their daughter.