By Kim Ratcliff | December 2, 2020 at 1:26 PM EST – Updated December 9 at 3:29 PM
WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) – A Wilmington family hopes to raise awareness and blood donations with a special blood drive.
On July 7, Ansley Honeycutt was diagnosed with hepatoblastoma, a rare liver cancer that affects “one in a million” children.
She has undergone three major surgeries, inpatient and outpatient chemotherapy treatments, emergency rehospitalizations, and multiple blood transfusions.
The American Red Cross relies heavily on blood drives. Thousands have been canceled since the pandemic began.
“A lot of school and corporate drives have been canceled so we are already at a disadvantage. Twenty percent of blood donations comes from high schools and colleges, when school went virtual we lost all of those donations,” said James Jarvis, executive director of the American Red Cross of the Cape Fear Area.
Because of COVID-19, New Hanover Regional Medical Center is restricting access to the hospital campus to patients and limited family visitors. Hence, the blood drives that they regularly host throughout the year have moved to the Midtown YMCA, Ogden YMCA and other venues.
NHRMC will instead host a special blood drive for Honeycutt at the Hampton Inn Azalea Room, located at 2320 S. 17th Street in Wilmington, on Wednesday, Dec. 9 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m..
For an appointment, please visit redcrossblood.org and search by sponsor code: NHRMC. You can also call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).
“We know that this is a very challenging time for everyone involved. We certainly encourage you to follow the guidelines out by your local health department as well as the CDC,” said Jarvis. “Just know that blood donation is a very safe process. We are taking all deliberate steps to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience. People need your blood right now. Please give if you can.”
The additional precautions being taken at the American Red Cross donation centers include:
- Checking the temperature of everyone entering the building
- Hand sanitizer before entering, and throughout the donation process
- Spacing beds, where possible to follow social distancing practices between donors
- Red Cross employees will be:
- Wearing gloves and changing them often
- Wiping down all donor-touched surfaces and equipment
- Preparing arm with aseptic scrub
According to the Red Cross, there has been no evidence and no reported cases or the coronavirus or any respiratory virus being transmitted by blood transfusion.
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