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Red Cross invites eligible donors to give blood during National Blood Donor Month

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[January 03, 2014]  PEORIA January is National Blood Donor Month, and the American Red Cross invites those who are eligible to join the millions of blood donors across the country in helping ensure a stable blood supply for patients in need.

People have many different reasons for donating blood. Jill Long's is her late husband, Bill, who died from esophageal cancer. After his Stage 4 diagnosis, he was able to survive for three more years, thanks in part to the blood transfusions he received. Long said she believes "the gift of time" is what blood donors really give.

"It took me only a few minutes to donate my blood, while he spent all day receiving someone else's just so that he could keep fighting to stay alive," she said.

They were both grateful for that opportunity to fight, Long said. Now, as a blood donor, she said she feels like she can help other families in similar situations "battle to stay together as long as possible."

January can be a difficult month to collect donations, due to inclement weather and seasonal illnesses. The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to make an appointment to give during National Blood Donor Month by visiting www.redcrossblood.org or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Upcoming Red Cross blood donation opportunity in Logan County:

  • Jan. 15, from noon to 5 p.m., at the Lincoln Park District 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 to donate blood 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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Need for blood is constant

Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood.

Thirty-eight percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood, but only 8 percent of those actually donate.

One donation can help save the lives of multiple people.

The top reason donors say they give blood is because they "want to help others."

The Red Cross supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood.

 

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