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Donate blood to help those fighting breast cancer

During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to band together to provide hope and healing to patients fighting cancer by giving blood or platelets.

Donors are asked to make appointments by downloading the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device.

Donors of all blood types are urged to help ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall.

Blood donations play a crucial role in cancer treatment.

Cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy may require red blood cell or platelet transfusions. In fact, patients fighting cancer need more blood than those with any other disease, using nearly one-quarter of the nation’s blood supply.

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether an individual developed COVID-19 symptoms. Red Cross antibody tests will be helpful to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may now help current coronavirus patients in need of convalescent plasma transfusions. Convalescent plasma is a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus.

COVID-19 antibody test results will be available within one to two weeks in the Red Cross Blood Donor App or donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. A positive antibody test result does not confirm infection or immunity. The Red Cross is not testing donors to diagnose illness, referred to as a diagnostic test. To protect the health and safety of Red Cross staff and donors, it is important that individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19 postpone donation.

Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions – including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff – have been implemented to help protect the health of all those in attendance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive and are required to wear a face covering or mask while at the drive, in alignment with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention public guidance.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities include:

Escanaba

Oct. 15: 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N Lincoln

Oct. 27: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Delta Plaza Mall, 301 N Lincoln

Stephenson

Oct. 14: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., American Legion, W5544 River Rd

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 in most states (16 with parental consent where allowed by state law), 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.

The UP Regional Blood Center is also currently experiencing a critical need for B Negative, O Negative, A Negative, and A Positive. The UP Regional Blood Center has collection sites in Marquette, Hancock, Escanaba and is the primary supplier of blood to 13 U.P. hospitals. Visit their Facebook page at UPRBC906 or website at http://www.mgh.org/blood for center details and blood drive locations. For Escanaba hours and scheduling call 906-786-8420.

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