September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to support kids, teens and young adults battling cancer, as well as others in need of transfusions.
The National Cancer Institute estimated that more than 15,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. would be diagnosed with cancer last year. Childhood cancer patients may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.
Cancer and cancer treatments can put patients at risk for low red blood cell and platelet counts. Some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, lowering the production of red blood cells and platelets. Cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma attack the bone marrow as well. Blood and platelet transfusions can enable patients to receive critical treatments needed to fight and survive cancer.
Platelet donors and blood donors of all blood types are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply following a summer blood shortage.
Blood drives are also essential in helping ensure blood is available for patients this winter. To learn more and sign up to host a blood drive, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Get a haircut coupon
Donors can do good and look good this September when they donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross and get a free haircut coupon from Sport Clips Haircuts – a supporter of childhood cancer research – during the annual Saving Lives Never Looked So Good campaign.
Those who come out to give blood or platelets through Sept. 30 will receive a coupon for a free haircut via email several days after their donation. The coupon is valid through Nov. 11 at participating Sport Clips locations. Donors must have a valid email address on record to receive the coupon.
Donors are urged to make an appointment to donate using the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/sport-clips, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. The Red Cross and Sport Clips encourage donors to use the hashtag #SavingLivesLooksGood to share their new looks and invite others to give.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities through Sept. 15
How to donate blood
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, before arriving at the blood drive. To get started, follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass or use the Blood Donor App.