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Donate blood for cancer patients

ALBANY — The American Red Cross, during this childhood cancer awareness month, encourages eligible donors to give blood to support kids, teens and young adults battling cancer, as well as others in need of transfusions, according to a news release.

The National Cancer Institute estimates over 15,000 children and adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with cancer each year. The childhood cancer patients may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment which can put patients at risk for low red blood cell and platelet counts.

The Sport Clips and RC partnership highlights childhood cancer awareness. Those who come to give through Sept. 8, will receive a pair of RC branded socks, while supplies last. Those who come to give blood or platelets through Sept. 30, will receive a coupon, valid through Nov. 30, at participating Sports Clips locations, for a free haircut via e-mail several days after their donation. The donors must have a valid e-mail address on record to receive the coupon.

The following links are to make an appointment to donate.

∫ Blood and platelet: https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/how-to-donate/types-of-blood-donations/platelet-donation/donate-platelets-for-cancer.html.

∫ Free RC blood donor app:

https://www.redcrossblood.org/blood-donor-app.html, visiting RedCrossBlood.org http://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html, calling 1-800-733-2767 or enabling the blood donor skill on any Alexa Echo device.

The ARC is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies (not testing donors to diagnose illness). The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. The antibody tests will help to identify individuals who have COVID-19 antibodies and may qualify to be donors of convalescent plasma, a type of blood donation collected from COVID-19 survivors that have antibodies that may help patients who are actively fighting the virus. Donors can expect to receive the results of their antibody test within seven to 10 days through the RC blood donor app or the donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. To protect the health and safety of RC staff and donors, individuals who do not feel well or believe they may be ill with COVID-19, postpone donation.

The RC blood drive and donation center follows the standards of safety and infection control, and additional precautions https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/dlp/coronavirus–covid-19–and-blood-donation.html- including temperature checks, social distancing and face coverings for donors and staff, have been implemented to help protect the health of 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.

A local blood donation opportunity is as follows: From 1 to 7 p.m. Sept. 10, the WNYT News Channel 13 Save a Life blood drive at the Johnstown Family Moose Lodge, 109 S. Comrie Ave.

To donate blood:

∫ A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Those who are 17 years old 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 blood and platelet donors can use RapidPass to complete their pre-donation reading and health history questionnaire online, on the day of their donation, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass. https://www.redcrossblood.org/donate-blood/manage-my-donations/rapidpass.html or use the Blood Donor App.

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