Blood donations needed as cancer patients resume care  after challenging year 

American Red Cross and American Cancer Society partner to help patients and  encourage donors to Give Blood to Give Time 

FAIRFAX, VA (June 1, 2021) – The American Red Cross and the American Cancer Society  have teamed up this June to encourage people across the country to Give Blood to Give Time and help ensure loved ones have the strength and support they need as they undergo cancer  treatment. 

According to the American Cancer Society, many patient visits and procedures were forced to  delay or cancel early in the pandemic to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19. With  procedures resuming, blood donations are critical for cancer treatments. Unfortunately, the Red  Cross is seeing fewer blood and platelet donors give as the nation begins to climb out of this  pandemic. This downturn comes at a time when the Red Cross continues to see strong demand  for blood products, including platelets by hospitals, causing concern for the sufficiency of the  blood supply this month and throughout the summer.  

The Red Cross currently has an emergency need for eligible donors in the National Capital &  Greater Chesapeake Region to make an appointment now to give platelets to ensure critical  patient needs are met. Platelets, the clotting portion of blood primarily given to cancer patients  during treatment, must be transfused within five days of donation and, therefore, are always in  great demand.  

“Many cancer patients, especially those going through chemotherapy, will have a need for blood  products during treatment,” said Dr. Baia Lasky, medical director for the Red Cross. “When  someone donates blood or platelets, they may not only help prevent life-threatening bleeding  that can cause stroke or relieve some symptoms, like shortness of breath and headaches, but  also give patients and their families the time and hope they need to fight back.” 

Some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, reducing red blood cell and platelet  production. Other times, the cancer itself or surgical procedures cause the need for blood products. About six blood products are needed every minute to help someone going through  cancer treatment. Yet only 3% of people in the U.S. give blood. It is vital that more people  donate blood and platelets regularly to meet that need.  

To schedule a blood or platelet donation appointment, visit GiveBloodToGiveTime.org. As a special thank-you, those who come to donate through June 13 will receive a limited edition Red Cross T-shirt, while supplies last.  

“The need for blood in cancer treatments is an important and untold story,” said Howard Byck, senior vice president of corporate and sports alliances, American Cancer Society. “The  American Cancer Society is excited to be working with the Red Cross on Give Blood to Give 

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Time. Through this partnership, we want people to know there are multiple ways they can help  and make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients and their families.”  

Cancer takes so much, but you can help 

In August 2016, Myel Bowers-Smith received an unexpected and life-changing medical  diagnosis. What she thought was an infection from a mosquito bite was actually stage 4  inflammatory breast cancer. The cancer was a very rare and aggressive breast carcinoma that  spread from her breast to her lymph nodes on the left side of her body. “I just knew something  wasn’t right with my body,” she said. 

Bowers-Smith was determined to keep a positive attitude even when her treatments left her  feeling sick for days at a time, unable to eat and extremely fatigued. “I received five different  chemotherapy treatments and steroids. I also received multiple plasma and platelet  transfusions. I would be in the hospital bed for hours receiving treatments,” she said. 

After months of treatment, Bowers-Smith was told her cancer was in remission  in February 2017. “I was more than excited because I survived. I won, and it was time to get my  life back! This couldn’t defeat me,” she said. 

Bowers-Smith recognizes the role of blood products in her recovery and now encourages others  to give. “Everyone needs someone, and this is your time to help someone who needs your  blood or platelets. Be a blessing,” she said. “Eligible donors, you have something good – which  is your blood. A pint of blood can help save lives, and you never know if you or someone you  love would need donated blood or platelet products.” 

Health insights for donors 

The Red Cross is testing blood, platelet and plasma donations for COVID-19 antibodies through  July 24. The test may indicate if the donor’s immune system has produced antibodies to this  coronavirus, regardless of whether they developed symptoms. Testing may also identify the  presence of antibodies developed after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. 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. 

At a time when health information has never been more important, the Red Cross  is also screening all blood, platelet and plasma donations from self-identified African American  donors for the sickle cell trait. This additional screening will provide Black donors with an  additional health insight and help the Red Cross identify compatible blood types more quickly to  help patients with sickle cell disease. Blood transfusion is an essential treatment for those with  sickle cell disease, and blood donations from individuals of the same race, ethnicity and blood  type have a unique ability to help patients fighting sickle cell disease.  

Donors can expect to receive antibody test and sickle cell trait screening results, if  applicable, within one to two weeks through the Red Cross Blood Donor App and the online  donor portal at RedCrossBlood.org. 

Blood drive safety 

The Red Cross has updated its pandemic safety protocols in alignment with the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention and Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Fully  vaccinated individuals, including staff and donors, no longer need to wear masks or socially  distance. Unvaccinated individuals continue to be required to wear masks and socially  distance. Donors are asked to schedule an appointment prior to arriving at the drive. 

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Each Red Cross blood drive and donation center follows the highest standards of safety and  infection control, and additional precautions – including social distancing and face masks 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 mask while at the drive, in alignment with state/local guidance. 

Upcoming blood donation opportunities: 

District of Columbia 

Washington 

6/1/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/2/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., VA Medical Center – Washington DC, 50 Irving Street, Room GC 103 6/2/2021: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., American Red Cross – Hall of Service, 1730 E Street NW 6/2/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/3/2021: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., American Red Cross – Hall of Service, 1730 E Street NW 6/3/2021: 10:45 a.m. – 6 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/4/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/4/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., American Red Cross – Hall of Service, 1730 E Street NW 6/5/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/6/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/7/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/8/2021: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., American Red Cross – Hall of Service, 1730 E Street NW 6/8/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Eaton Hotel, 1201 K St. NW 

6/8/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/9/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., American Red Cross – Hall of Service, 1730 E Street NW 6/9/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/10/2021: 10:45 a.m. – 6 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/11/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/11/2021: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Hampton Inn Washington DC White House, 1729 H Street NW 6/11/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., American Red Cross – Hall of Service, 1730 E Street NW 6/12/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 6/13/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dr. Charles Drew Blood Donation Center, 1730 E Street NW 

Maryland 

Montgomery 

Gaithersburg 

6/2/2021: 8 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Montgomery Cnty Public Safety – In Honor of Noah Leotta – 2 shift, 100  Edison Park Drive 

6/2/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., Montgomery Cnty Public Safety – In Honor of Noah Leotta – 2 shift, 100  Edison Park Drive 

6/11/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Church of the Nazarene, 8921 Warfield Rd 

Germantown 

5/28/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Montgomery College – Germantown, 20200 Observation Drive 

Poolesville 

6/1/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Poolesville Baptist Church, 17550 West Willard Rd 

Rockville 

6/1/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/2/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 7 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510

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6/3/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/4/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/5/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/6/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/7/2021: 1:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/8/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Norbeck Country Club, 17200 Cashell Road 

6/8/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/9/2021: 11:45 a.m. – 7 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/10/2021: 8:15 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/11/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/12/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 6/13/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Rockville Blood Donation Center, 11820 Parklawn Drive, Suite 510 

Silver Spring 

6/3/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., Montgomery Chapter House, 2020 East West Highway 6/7/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 7 p.m., Montgomery Chapter House, 2020 East West Highway _______________ 

Queen Annes 

Stevensville 

6/12/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Am Legion Kent Island Post 278, 800 Romancoke road Virginia 

Alexandria City 

Alexandria 

6/1/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 5 p.m., Alexandria Chapter House, 123 North Alfred St 

6/10/2021: 12:30 p.m. – 6 p.m., Alexandria Chapter House, 123 North Alfred St 

_______________ 

Arlington 

6/1/2021: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Richmond hwy. 

6/5/2021: 7:30 a.m. – 1 p.m., Church of Jesus Christ- LDS Arlington, 1600 N. Inglewood St 6/10/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Hyatt Regency Crystal City, 2799 Richmond hwy. 

_______________ 

Fairfax 

Chantilly 

6/5/2021: 7 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., St. Timothy Catholic Church, 13809 Poplar Tree Rd. 

Fairfax 

6/1/2021: 10:45 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/2/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/3/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/4/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/5/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/6/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/7/2021: 1:15 p.m. – 8:30 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/8/2021: 10:45 a.m. – 5:45 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/9/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 8 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/10/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Northern Virginia Association of Realtors Young Professionals Network, 8407  Pennell Street 

6/10/2021: 12:45 p.m. – 5:45 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325

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6/11/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/12/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 3 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 6/13/2021: 7:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Fairfax Blood Donation Center, 8550 Arlington Blvd, Suite 325 

Herndon 

6/7/2021: 10 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Herndon Ward LDS, 1515 Poplar Grove Rd 

6/10/2021: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 432 Van Buren St. 

McLean 

6/11/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Heart of Gold Foundation at McLean Community Center, McLean Community  Center, 1234 Ingleside Ave 

Oakton 

6/3/2021: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Oakton, 2719 Hunter Mill Rd 

Reston 

6/4/2021: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., YMCA Fairfax County Reston, 12196 Sunset Hills Rd 6/4/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., St. John Neumann Catholic Church, 11900 Lawyers Rd 6/10/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., St Thomas a Becket RCC, 1421 Wiehle Ave 

Springfield 

6/8/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 7:15 p.m., American Legion Post 176, 6520 Amherst Ave 

Vienna 

6/4/2021: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., American Legion Auxilary Unit #180, 330 Center Street North _______________ 

Loudoun 

Ashburn 

6/8/2021: 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints- Ashburn, 21015 Claiborne  Pkwy 

Leesburg 

6/9/2021: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Stone Tower Winery, 19925 Hogback Mountain Rd 

Sterling 

6/3/2021: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., AVFD Annex, 24300 Stone Springs. Blvd. 

_______________ 

Manassas City 

Manassas 

6/7/2021: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Manassas Volunteer Rescue, 9322 Center Street 

_______________ 

Prince William 

Gainesville 

6/11/2021: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints – Gainesville,  14015 Glenkirk Rd 

Manassas 

6/9/2021: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Masroor Mosque, 5640 Hoadly Rd

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About blood donation 

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit RedCrossBlood.org, call 1- 800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo  device to make an appointment or for more information. 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. 

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. 

About the American Red Cross 

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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. 

About the American Cancer Society 

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 1.5 million volunteers dedicated to  saving lives, celebrating lives, and leading the fight for a world without cancer. From  breakthrough research, to free lodging near treatment, a 24/7/365 live helpline, free rides to  treatment, and convening powerful activists to create awareness and impact, the Society is the  only organization attacking cancer from every angle. For more information go to  www.cancer.org