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.
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. Upcoming blood donation opportunities in September include: Lomira Monday, Sept. 16, from 12-6 p.m., Trinity United Methodist Church, 300 Church St. Horicon Thursday, Sept. 26, from 1-6 p.m., Horicon Police Department, located at 220 Ellison St. Mayville Thursday, Sept. 26, from 12:30-5:30 p.m., American Legion Post #69, located at 134 S. Main St.