The American Red Cross encourages people to help meet the urgent need for blood and platelets by resolving to give blood this January – National Blood Donor Month.
Donating blood or platelets is a way to make a lifesaving impact in the new year for patients like Judy Janssen, who was diagnosed with end-stage autoimmune liver disease in 2016. Janssen received frequent blood transfusions – sometimes multiple times a week – until she underwent a liver transplant last January.
“Blood donors make a really big difference with very little effort,” said Janssen, who received dozens of transfusions before and during her transplant surgery. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for blood donations.”
The critical role of blood and platelet donors has been celebrated each January for nearly 50 years during National Blood Donor Month, which coincides with one of the most difficult times to maintain a sufficient blood supply for patients. Busy holiday schedules, extreme winter weather and seasonal illnesses often impact donor turnout this time of year.
The Red Cross encourages eligible donors to resolve to give blood or platelets regularly, beginning in January. To encourage donations immediately, all those who come to donate by Jan. 6 will get a long-sleeved Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.
Another way to help keep the blood supply strong in the new year is to host a Red Cross blood drive. To learn more about hosting a blood drive and to sign up, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Jan. 2-31
1/8/2019: 10:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Regional Health Center, 220 Essie Davison Drive
1/15/2019: 11:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m., Westminster Presbyterian Church, 322 N 16th
1/17/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Clarinda Academy, 1820 North 16th Street
1/16/2019: 8 a.m. - 2 p.m., Essex High School, 111 Forbes St.
1/9/2019: 7 a.m. - 1 p.m., Shenandoah Medical Center, 300 Pershing Ave.