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Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give the gift of life

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[December 05, 2013]  PEORIA The holiday season is here, and with it comes the exchange of gifts among family and friends. For many hospital patients, one gift on their wish list can't be found at stores: a blood donation.

Blood donations could be the gift of life to people like Lauren McCrary, who was immediately hospitalized after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. She received more than 140 blood and platelet transfusions. Now in remission, she serves as the blood drive coordinator at the high school where she works.

"I can never repay the donors who helped save my life, but I can remind others that giving blood is truly the gift that means something," McCrary said. "The blood I received has helped me celebrate more holiday seasons with my family."

The American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give what could be the most meaningful gift of the season to someone.

Upcoming blood donation opportunity in Logan County:

  • Wednesday, Dec. 18, noon to 5 p.m., at the Lincoln Sports Complex, 1400 Primm Road in Lincoln

How to donate blood

Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit www.redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for 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 (16 with parental consent in some states), 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.

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