During Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October, the American Red Cross urges eligible donors to give blood or platelets to provide hope and healing to patients fighting cancer. Breast cancer is the second most common cancer in women, and more than 268,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
In August 2016, Myel Bowers-Smith went to the doctor for what she thought was a breast infection for a mosquito bite after a vacation in Cancun. Instead, she received the devastating diagnosis – she had stage 4 inflammatory breast cancer, a very rare and aggressive breast carcinoma. Bowers-Smith, a U.S. Army veteran, committed to fighting for her life. “Once I began fighting, I knew I had to remain strong,” she said. Her aggressive care plan included five different chemotherapy treatments and steroids. Like many patients with cancer, Bower-Smith needed multiple blood product transfusions. Cancer patients undergoing surgery and chemotherapy may require red blood cell or platelet transfusions. In fact, more than half of all platelets collected by the Red Cross are used by patients with cancer.
After months of grueling treatments, in August 2017, Bowers-Smith celebrated the news that her cancer was in remission. Today, she enjoys sharing her story and encouraging others to be a blessing by donating blood or platelets. “Eligible donors, you have something good – which is your blood. A pint of blood can help save lives.” Donors of all blood types, especially platelet donors and those with type O blood, are needed to ensure a stable supply for cancer patients and others this fall. Appointments can be made 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.
As a thank-you, those who come to give blood or platelets during the month of October will automatically be entered for a chance to win one of five $500 gift cards redeemable at hundreds of merchants, courtesy of Tango Card. Terms apply; see rcblood.org/game.
Upcoming blood donation opportunities Oct. 16-31:
10/16/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Arthur County Fairgrounds, 105 S Highway 61
10/31/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., South Platte High School (MT), 610 Plum Street
10/28/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Dundy County Stratton High School, 400 9th Avenue
10/17/2019: 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Ella Missing Community Building, 411 6th Street
10/23/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Southern Valley High School, 43739 Highway 89
10/23/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Garden County Schools, 200 West 4th Street
10/22/2019: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Hayes Center High School, 500 Troth Street
10/25/2019: 9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Community Building, 205 N. Oak Street
10/17/2019: 3 p.m. – 7 p.m., Dance Factory, 1620 E. 4th St.Suite 116B
10/31/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., Fox Theater, 301 E Fifth Street
10/21/2019: 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Sutherland Public Schools, 401 Walnut
10/29/2019: 12:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., McCook Community Building, 1412 West 5th
10/30/2019: 11 a.m. – 5 p.m., McCook Community Building, 1412 West 5th