Red Cross offers a surprising way to help patients kick cancer

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (March 18, 2019) — People may be surprised that they can play a direct role in the fight against cancer, and it’s easier than they might think. By donating platelets or blood through the American Red Cross, donors can share their strength and help patients kick cancer.

Platelets are tiny cells that form clots and stop bleeding. About 2 million units of platelets are transfused each year in the U.S., and more than half of all donated platelets go to cancer patients.

“Some cancers and certain types of chemotherapy drugs and radiation can damage bone marrow, where red blood cells and platelets are produced,” said Dr. Pampee P. Young, chief medical officer, American Red Cross. “Cancer patients often require blood products during treatment or after surgical procedures. Platelet transfusions, in particular, are needed to prevent life-threatening bleeding and help cancer patients continue receiving lifesaving treatments.”

Because platelets must be transfused within just five days from the time they are donated, platelet donors have the power to help save up to three lives within days of their donation.

Platelets help local Indiana patients like 5-year-old Makayla Willett. At age three she was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenic purpura, known as ITP, a disease that limits her production of platelets. Makayla has received platelet transfusions and plasma injections to survive, and will need more as treatment continues. Also, 15-year-old Olivia Stoy of Angola has been able to battle her diagnosis of T-lymphoblastic lymphoma, a form of cancer, and receive a bone marrow transplant, thanks to platelet donors.

In addition to cancer patients, platelets and blood are needed every day for lifesaving surgeries, traumas and those living with blood disorders. The Red Cross must collect more than 2,500 platelet and about 13,000 blood donations every day for patients at about 2,500 hospitals nationwide, including 80 hospitals in Indiana. In the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region, 63 platelet and 450 blood donations are needed each day.

Local Platelet Donation Centers:

  • Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd = Hours available 7 days a week.
  • Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107 = Hours available 6 days a week, closed Wednesdays.

How to donate platelets

Platelet donation is available at the following Red Cross blood donation centers. Appointments are encouraged and can be made using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org/Cancer or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

About platelet donation

During a platelet donation, blood is collected by a device that separates platelets, along with some plasma, from whole blood, and the remaining blood components are returned to the donor. The entire process takes about two to three hours, and donors are encouraged to relax during the donation – videos, television and wireless internet are available. Platelets may be donated every seven days, up to 24 times a year.

How to donate blood

Blood donations can be made at the following upcoming blood drives. Eligible donors of all blood types, especially type O, are urged to make an appointment to give now. Simply download the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make a blood donation appointment.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Adams County

Berne

3/25/2019: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Lehman Park Pavilion, 667 Lehman St

4/2/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., South Adams Senior Center, 825 Hendrick St.

Decatur

3/24/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Mary Catholic Church, 414 Madison St.

4/8/2019: 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m., Riverside Center, 231 East Monroe St

Allen County

Fort Wayne

3/18/2019: 7 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Parkview Regional Medical Center, 11109 Parkview Plaza Drive

3/18/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/18/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Parkview Regional Medical Center, 11109 Parkview Plaza Drive

3/18/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/19/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/19/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/20/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/21/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/21/2019: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/22/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/22/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/23/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/23/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/24/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/24/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/25/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/25/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/26/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/26/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/27/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/28/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/28/2019: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/28/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Parkview Icehouse, 3869 Ice Way

3/29/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/29/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/30/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/30/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

3/31/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

3/31/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/1/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/1/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/2/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/2/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/3/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/4/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/4/2019: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/5/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/5/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/6/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/6/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/7/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/7/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/7/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., St. Charles Catholic Church/School, 4910 Trier Rd

4/8/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/8/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/9/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/9/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/10/2019: 8 a.m. – 10:30 a.m., Shambaugh & Son Inc., 7614 Opportunity Dr

4/10/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/11/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/11/2019: 11:45 a.m. – 6:30 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/11/2019: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Joseph United Methodist Church, 6004 Reed Road

4/12/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/12/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/13/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/13/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 2 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/14/2019: 7 a.m. – 1:15 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

4/14/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 1:45 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/14/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., Dashmesh Sikh Gurudwara, 15020 Illinois Road

4/15/2019: 12:15 p.m. – 7 p.m., Fort Wayne Blood Donation Center, 1212 E California Rd

4/15/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Lutheran Hospital Blood Donation Center, 7900 W. Jefferson Suite 107

Harlan

4/1/2019: 2 p.m. – 8 p.m., Christian Community Center of Harlan, 12616 Spencerville Road

New Haven

4/8/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., United Methodist Church, 630 Lincoln Hwy. East

De Kalb County

Auburn

3/23/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Eckhart Public Library, 1029 W 7th Street

4/2/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, 500 East 7th St.

Garrett

3/19/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Group Dekko, 2505 Dekko Drive

4/2/2019: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., American Legion Garrett, 515 W. 5th Ave

Huntington County

Huntington

3/26/2019: 1 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Evangelical United Methodist Church, 1000 Flaxmill Rd.

3/31/2019: 7:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m., SS Peter and Paul Catholic Church/School, 860 Cherry St

4/13/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Moose Lodge 837, 390 Frontage Road

4/15/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., Evangelical United Methodist Church, 1000 Flaxmill Rd.

Jay County

Portland

3/19/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Jay Community Center, 115 E. Water Street

Noble County

Albion

4/12/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Asbury United Methodist Church, 605 East Main St.

Avilla

4/8/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Presence Sacred Heart Home, 515 North Main Street

Kendallville

4/6/2019: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Jansen Family Dentistry, 230 S. Main Street

Steuben County

Angola

4/3/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Trine University, 619 Maumee Street

4/8/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, 700 West Maumee Street

Hamilton

3/20/2019: 2:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Hamilton High School, 903 S. Wayne St.

Orland

3/21/2019: 1 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., American Legion Post 423, 6215 S.R. 327

Wells County

Bluffton

3/18/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 215 East Dustman Rd.

Whitley County

Churubusco

4/4/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Faith Lutheran Church, 9251 E SR 205

Maximizing your donation experience

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.

Blood and platelet donors can save time at their next donation by using RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, from a computer or mobile device. To get started and learn more, visit RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass and follow the instructions on the site.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.