By Mara McJilton | June 3, 2021 at 4:46 PM EDT – Updated June 3 at 10:14 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – The American Red Cross and American Cancer Society have partnered in an effort to increase blood donations that will help cancer patients.
“Our mission is to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies, and we do that thanks to the generosity of our donors, as well as the power of our volunteers,” said James Jarvis, Executive Director of the Cape Fear Area Chapter of the American Red Cross.
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, blood donations decreased, and most cancer treatments were put on hold. Now, there is an emergency need for blood donors.
Platelets are the clotting portion of blood, given to cancer patients during treatments. They must be transfused within five days of donation.
Due to recent upgrades, the Cape Fear Area Chapter of the American Red Cross, located at 1102 S 16th St., is now able to collect platelets. Before the renovation, donors would have to travel to Durham or Greenville to donate platelets.
Jarvis explained another reason why blood donors are needed: “Blood is one of those things that you cannot recreate in a lab, there is no other way, unless someone is willing to roll up a sleeve and donate.”
Currently, 25% of blood donations from the Red Cross is given to cancer patients.
“At the end of the day, you get an opportunity to give someone more time with their families, you get an opportunity to do something that can save up to three lives,” said Jarvis.
To find out if you are eligible to donate, click here.
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