Every day, about 77 people nationwide receive a second chance because another person chose to give the gift of life. And every day in April, people across the United States are asked to celebrate that kindness by recognizing those who donate organs, tissue, marrow and blood.
“National Donate Life Month provides a way we can honor and support people who have decided to help others in an exceptionally personal and important way,” said Sharyn Whitman, CEO for the Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region of the American Red Cross. “It’s also a time to encourage people of all ages to consider becoming a donor and help save lives.”
More than 98,000 people in the U.S. are in need of an organ transplant. Transplant recipients may also need blood products during surgery. A liver transplant patient might need up to 10 units of red cells, 20 units of plasma and 10 units of platelets; and a heart transplant patient up to six units of red cells. Blood products may also be needed for extended periods. Patients undergoing a bone marrow transplant may need one to two units of red cells every-other-day for four weeks, and six to eight units of platelets daily for four to six weeks.
Donations of blood, marrow and tissue are also vital to saving countless lives, and for improving the quality of life for hospital patients who are seriously ill or injured. Every day, patients across the U.S. need about 39,000 units of blood.
“Whatever you may decide to donate, you will be helping someone, somewhere,” said Whitman. “You have a lot of power to help save lives, simply by rolling up your sleeves to donate blood, or by signing up to give in other ways.”
UPCOMING AMERICAN RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES IN YOUR AREA:
- Friday, April 2, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at St. Patrick Catholic Church, located at 638 N. Calumet Road in Chesterton.
- Friday, April 2, from 1 p.m. until 6 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of Portage, located at 2637 McCool Road in Portage.
- Friday, April 2, from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. at Porter Hospital Valparaiso Campus, located at 814 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso.
- Saturday, April 3, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Union Fire & Rescue, located at 267 N. 600 W. in Valparaiso.
- Monday, April 5, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at the Eagles Lodge, located at 805 Elm St. in Valparaiso.
- Tuesday, April 6, from 2 p.m. until 7 p.m. at The Gathering Place in the Meeting Room, located at 131 N. Main St. in Hebron.
- Thursday, April 8, from 12 noon until 6 p.m. at St. Paul Lutheran Church in the Meeting Hall, located at 106 E. 1100 N. in Chesterton.
- Saturday, April 10, from 9 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Washington Evangelical Free Church in the gymnasium, located at 3805 LaPorte Ave. in Valparaiso. Come to donate and receive a t-shirt.
- Wednesday, April 14, from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. at Kouts High School in the Auditorium, located at 302 E. College Ave. in Kouts. Come to donate and receive a t-shirt.
How to Donate Blood
To schedule an appointment to donate please call 1 -800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org for more information. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental permission in some states), meet weight and height requirements (110 pounds or more, depending on their height) and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. Please bring your Red Cross blood donor card or other form of positive ID when you come to donate.
About the American Red Cross
The Indiana-Ohio Blood Services Region serves northern and central Indiana and northwestern Ohio, and needs to collect about 500 units of blood a day to meet patient need in more than 60 hospitals. In addition to providing blood to our community, the American Red Cross also provides relief to victims of disaster, trains millions in lifesaving skills, serves as a communication link between U.S. military members and their families, and assists victims of international disasters or conflicts.