September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and the American Red Cross encourages eligible donors to give blood to support kids, teens and young adults battling cancer, as well as others in need of transfusions.
The National Cancer Institute estimated that more than 15,000 children and adolescents in the U.S. would be diagnosed with cancer last year. Childhood cancer patients may need blood products on a regular basis during chemotherapy, surgery or treatment for complications.
Cancer and cancer treatments can put patients at risk for low red blood cell and platelet counts. Some types of chemotherapy can damage bone marrow, lowering the production of red blood cells and platelets. Cancers such as leukemia and lymphoma attack the bone marrow as well. Blood and platelet transfusions can enable patients to receive critical treatments needed to fight and survive cancer.
Platelet donors and blood donors of all blood types are urgently needed to replenish the blood supply following a summer blood shortage. As a thank-you, those who come to give Aug. 30-Sept. 3 will receive a unique Red Cross canvas tote bag, while supplies last.
Make an appointment to donate by downloading the free Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting RedCrossBlood.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. Blood drives are also essential in helping ensure blood is available for patients this winter. To learn more and sign up to host a blood drive, visit RedCrossBlood.org/HostADrive.
Who blood donations help
In October 2018, what began as a normal toddler’s ear infection changed the Corbeau family’s life forever. Beth and Matt Corbeau’s 2-year-old son, Jackson, was running a high fever. He was taken to urgent care and diagnosed with a simple ear infection and prescribed antibiotics. After a few days, Jackson’s fever failed to subside, and he became increasingly more lethargic. His parents decided it was time to have him seen again.
After a quick visit to Jackson’s primary care physician, they were advised that he was anemic and were instructed to take him to the local emergency room. Five grueling hours after arriving at the ER, the Corbeau’s were introduced to a pediatric oncologist. Beth recalls that moment, “As soon as she introduced herself as a pediatric oncologist, I felt the room get extremely small. I don’t remember anything that was said that afternoon after she said the word ‘leukemia.’”
In the first few days after diagnosis, Jackson received red blood cell and platelet transfusions to prepare him to have a port placed in his chest to receive chemotherapy treatments. He has gone through multiple rounds of chemotherapy and has received approximately seven units of blood and four units of platelets during his treatment so far.
“Our family is so grateful to blood and platelet donors who so generously make time to share their good health with patients like Jackson,” says Beth Corbeau. “It’s easy to forget about the importance of blood donations if you don’t know someone in need, but it’s something I will never take for granted again.”
Sport Clips and Red Cross partnership highlights childhood cancer awareness
Donors can do good and look good this September when they donate blood or platelets with the Red Cross and get a free haircut coupon from Sport Clips Haircuts – a proud supporter of childhood cancer research – during the annual Saving Lives Never Looked So Good campaign.
Those who come out to give blood or platelets Sept. 1-30 will receive a coupon for a free haircut via email several days after their donation. The coupon is valid through Nov. 11, 2019, at participating Sport Clips locations. Donors must have a valid email address on record to receive the coupon.
Donors are urged to make an appointment to donate using the free American Red Cross Blood Donor App, by visiting RedCrossBlood.org/sport-clips, by calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or by enabling the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. The Red Cross and Sport Clips encourage donors to use the hashtag #SavingLivesLooksGood to share their new looks and invite others to give.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Aug. 30-Sept. 15:
Blue Earth
Mankato
9/3/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Student Union, 117 Centennial Student Union
9/9/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Christ the King Lutheran Church, 222 Pfau St.
9/10/2019: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Culver’s, 1856 Madison Ave.
9/11/2019: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Culver’s, 1856 Madison Ave.
9/11/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 105 Homestead Drive
9/12/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., American Red Cross, 105 Homestead Drive
9/13/2019: 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., American Red Cross, 105 Homestead Drive
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Brown
New Ulm
9/4/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Civic Center, 1212 N. Franklin St.
9/5/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Civic Center, 1212 N. Franklin St.
9/6/2019: 8:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., Civic Center, 1212 N. Franklin St.
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Carver
Chanhassen
9/3/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Living Christ Lutheran Church, 820 Lake Drive
Chaska
9/3/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Oak Ridge Hotel & Conference Center, 1 Oak Ridge Drive
Cologne
9/11/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Community Center, 1211 Village Parkway
Norwood Young America
9/11/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Willkommen Pavilion, 21 E. Main St.
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Faribault
Blue Earth
9/9/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Hope United Methodist Church, 12080 380th Ave.
Winnebago
9/5/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Community Center, 140 Main St.
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Fillmore
Chatfield
9/10/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Chatfield High School, 205 Union St.
Harmony
9/10/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Community Center, 225 Third Ave. SW
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Freeborn
Albert Lea
8/30/2019: 2 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Theodore Catholic Church, 308 E. Fountain St.
9/3/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Ramada, 2301 E. Main St.
9/5/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Bridge Community Church, 2016 Bridge Ave.
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Goodhue
Cannon Falls
9/4/2019: 8:45 a.m. – 2:45 p.m., Cannon Falls Government Center, 918 River Road
Red Wing
9/6/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., City Hall, 315 W. 4th St.
9/10/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Mayo Clinic Health System, 701 Hewitt Blvd.
9/12/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 320 West Ave.
Welch
9/5/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Cross of Christ Lutheran Church, 24036 County 7 Blvd.
Zumbrota
9/10/2019: 12 p.m. – 5 p.m., Zumbrota Public Library, 100 West Ave.
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Houston
Eitzen
9/9/2019: 2 p.m. – 6 p.m., Eitzen Lions Blood Drive, 202 E. Main St.
Houston
9/11/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Ridgeway Community School, 35564 Winona County Road 12
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Le Sueur
Le Sueur
9/13/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Ridgeview Le Sueur Medical Center, 621 S. 4th St.
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Martin
Fairmont
9/10/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Holiday Inn, 1201 Torgerson Drive
9/11/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Holiday Inn, 1201 Torgerson Drive
9/12/2019: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., Holiday Inn, 1201 Torgerson Drive
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Mower
Austin
8/30/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Mower County Employees, 201 1st St. NE
9/5/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., St. John’s Lutheran, 1200 NW 13th Ave.
9/6/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., YMCA, 704 1st Drive NW
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Nicollet
North Mankato
9/12/2019: 10:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Culver’s, 1680 Commerce Drive
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Rice
Faribault
8/30/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m., Family Video, 712 4th St. NW
9/9/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, 1207 Prairie Ave. SW
9/12/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cathedral of Our Merciful Saviour, 141 6th St. NW
Northfield
9/7/2019: 8 a.m. – 1 p.m., Ames Mill, 319 S. Water St.
9/9/2019: 1 p.m. – 6 p.m., Culver’s, 960 S. Highway 3
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Scott
New Prague
9/11/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Roundbank, 1100 1st St. NE
Savage
9/12/2019: 11 a.m. – 4 p.m., SunSource, 12800 Highway 13 S.
9/14/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Cub Foods, 14075 State Highway 13
Shakopee
9/10/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Manheim Northstar, 4908 Industrial Blvd.
9/11/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., VFW, 1201 3rd Ave. E.
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Sibley
Gibbon
9/12/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Gibbon Community Center, 100 Park Drive
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Steele
Owatonna
9/5/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Lowe’s, 1280 21st Ave. N.
9/13/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Owatonna Hospital, 2250 26th St. NW
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Wabasha
Lake City
9/9/2019: 1:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., Bethany Lutheran Church, 525 S. 6th St.
Plainview
9/11/2019: 1 p.m. – 7 p.m., Immanuel Lutheran Church, 45 W. Broadway
Wabasha
8/30/2019: 8 a.m. – 2 p.m., Saint Elizabeth’s Medical Center, 1200 Grant Blvd. W.
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Waseca
Waseca
8/30/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Family Video, 1101 2nd St. NE
9/4/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Roundbank, 200 2nd St. NE
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Winona
Winona
9/4/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Express Suites River Port Inn, 900 Bruski Drive
9/6/2019: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Winona State University, 175 Mark St.
How to donate blood
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.