‘9 Days of Giving’ offers patients a lifetime of hope
As most of us prepare for family gatherings and travel this Thanksgiving, South Texas patients will remain in hospitals and continue to rely on blood donations. To help prevent a sharp decline in the community blood supply over the holiday, local organizations are working with The South Texas Blood & Tissue Center (STBTC) to schedule special blood drives featuring extra thank-you gifts for donors who make time to give blood from Nov. 23 – Dec. 1.
Patients like Samantha Aguirre, who is battling breast cancer, need blood transfusions throughout their treatment. “Blood donations literally saved my life and it’s because of blood donors that I am here,” she said.
Sporting and entertainment centers, cinemas and other businesses are hosting blood drives from Nov. 23-Dec. 1 that, in addition to a $10 Amazon gift card, will offer donors extra thank-you gifts to restaurants, movies and a variety of entertainment venues. For a complete list of drives and gifts, visit SouthTexasBlood.org/9days.
Blood centers see drastic decreases in donations during the holidays, when frequent donors go on vacation and schools are out on break. However, the need for blood is constant to meet the ongoing needs of patients scheduled for surgery, those who need blood as part of their regular cancer treatments, newborns and their mothers, and many other patients.
STBTC, which serves 48 counties in South Texas, needs 400 donations every day in order to meet patient needs. All blood types are needed, particularly type O, which is often used in emergencies. Platelet donations are also needed to support patients undergoing chemotherapy and for emergencies.
Blood donors must present identification. Anyone who is 16 years old and weighs at least 120 pounds (with parental consent form), or 17 years old and above and weighs at least 110 pounds and is in good general health may donate blood. All donors receive refreshments, a wellness check and are encouraged to eat well before and after donation. Learn more about blood donation at www.SouthTexasBlood.org.